Paying the Price

How College Debt is Eroding the American Dream

When

July 13, 2015

6:30 pm - 8:15 pm

Where

Civic Hall

156 Fifth Avenue, Second Floor

New York, NY 10010

Once seen as the Great Equalizer, the value of higher education in the era of soaring college debt has come into serious question.

In their new book, The Real College Debt Crisis: How Student Borrowing Threatens Financial Well-Being and Erodes the American Dream, William Elliott III and Melinda K. Lewis argue that our current system of financial assistance is failing the very students it's intended to serve. For many students, even crippling student debt seems a small price to pay for a college degree that leads them to a more prosperous life. But, in reality, low-income students who wholly rely on this system are hit the hardest, while students from more affluent families emerge unscathed. The Great Equalizer, then, is becoming a Great Reinforcer of growing inequality and widening income and wealth gaps.

Rather than patching up the student debt system, can we pay for college in a way that lives up to America's ideals? Can we reduce inequality and reward effort and talent, instead of conferred advantage? Can early investment in all children become an American cornerstone?

Join New America NYC and New America's Asset Building Program for a discussion about the state of education, making it in America, and the new ideas we'll need to ensure students don't graduate from college worse off than when they began.

Copies of William Elliott III and Melinda Lewis's The Real College Debt Crisis: How Student Borrowing Threatens Financial Well-Being and Erodes the American Dream will be available for purchase. Follow the discussion online using #NANYC and by following @NewAmericaNYC.

Participants:

William Elliott III
Director, Center on Assets, Education, and Inclusion
Senior Research Fellow, Asset Building Program, New America
Co-author, The Real College Debt Crisis: How Student Borrowing Threatens Financial Well-Being and Erodes the American Dream
@assetseducation

Melinda K. Lewis
Assistant Director, Center on Assets, Education, and Inclusion
Co-author, The Real College Debt Crisis: How Student Borrowing Threatens Financial Well-Being and Erodes the American Dream
@melindaklewis


Meta Brown
Senior Economist, Federal Reserve Bank of New York

Anya Kamenetz
Education reporter, NPR
2014 Fellow, New America
@anya1anya

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