The Real College Debt Crisis

How Student Borrowing Erodes the American Dream

When

July 15, 2015

9:30 am - 11:00 am

Where

New America

1899 L Street NW, Suite 400

Washington, DC 20036


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, authors William Elliott III and Melinda Lewis argue that our current system of financial assistance imposes debt on vulnerable students in exchange for the promise of a college degree that may never materialize. Ultimately, the greatest costs are borne by the low-income students who must rely on this system, while students from more affluent families emerge unscathed. As a result, the Great Equalizer is becoming the Great Reinforcer.

Rather than patching the student debt system, The Real College Debt Crisis proposes striving for a college preparation and finance mechanism that helps America live up to her ideals. By shifting from a debt-based model to an assets and investment based model, the authors suggest that our nation can build a system that rewards effort and talent and reduces inequality.

Join New America for a discussion about education, making it in America, and new approaches to get students to, and through, college fully prepared for life.

Follow the discussion online using #realcollegedebtcrisis and following @AssetsNAF.

Copies of the book will be available for sale at the event.

Introductions: 

Justin King
Policy Director, Asset Building Program, New America

Participants:

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

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

Mark Huelsman
Senior Policy Analyst, Demos

Kevin Carey
Director, Education Policy Program, New America

Moderator:

Danielle Douglas-Gabriel
Reporter, The Washington Post