After a Long Pause, 30 Million Student Borrowers Will Begin Defaulting

Last year, in response to the COVID pandemic, the Department of Education pressed the pause button on the federal student-loan program. In March 2020, DOE allowed 30 million student borrowers to stop making payments on their student loans with no penalty and no accumulation of interest. DOE also stopped collection actions during this moratorium and … Read more

Marchus v. Student Loans of North Dakota: Another Victory for Student-Loan Debtors in the Eighth Circuit

In 2020, Debra Jean Marchus filed an adversary proceeding in a North Dakota bankruptcy court, seeking to discharge about $38,000 in student-loan debt. After a trial, Bankruptcy Judge Shon Hastings wiped out the debt. As summarized in Judge Hastings’s decision, Ms. Marchus began her journey through higher education in 1975, forty-five years before she filed … Read more

Bankruptcy Judge Discharges $220K in Federal Student Loans

Diane Ashline, a 47-year old single mother, worked for 20 years as a dental assistant. Hoping to increase her income, she took out student loans to get an undergraduate degree and a master’s degree from Kaplan University, a for-profit school. Unfortunately, these degrees did not help her financially. Ashline never defaulted on her student loans. … Read more

The Slumification of American College Towns

The Slumification of American College Towns

In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, cotton production was a staple of America’s Southern economy. Even today, the United States is one of the world’s largest exporters of cotton. But cotton has some problems. Grown year after year, cotton depletes the soil. Before commercial fertilizers became available, cotton growers simply grew cotton on a … Read more

Private Student Loan Debt at All-Time High – Until Tomorrow

According to a recent report by the Institute for College Access and Success (TICAS), the 2020 class of college graduates has amassed $136 billion in private student debt. When this amount is added to the total student debt from federal student loans–about $1.8 trillion, Americans are on the hook for almost $2 trillion in student … Read more

Thinking of Law School? Prepare for Financial Guilt and Regret

If you are thinking about going to law school, you should read a recent report titled “Student Debt: The Holistic Impact on Today’s Young Lawyers.” According to the ABA’s Young Lawyers Division, 90 percent of young lawyers who responded to an ABA survey said they had taken out student loans to finance their legal education. … Read more

105 Organizations Want Biden to Cancel All Student Loan Debt: It Ain’t Happenin’

More than one hundred public interest groups sent a letter to President Biden this week urging him to cancel all student debt. How much are we talking about? Close to $2 trillion. I will say upfront that I support wholesale student-loan forgiveness. As numerous studies have pointed out, burdensome student debt has kept millions of … Read more

College Goes Bankrupt But Your Student Loans Are Problematic

Vista College, a chain of for-profit college campuses, closed and went bankrupt a few days ago. Most Vista campuses are in Texas, but the chain filed its bankruptcy proceedings in Delaware. Who Owns Vista College? Education Futures Group (EFG), a Chicago-based private equity firm, holds a majority interest. Jim Tolbert, Vista’s CEO, owns 16.7 percent. … Read more

Parents Need to Stop Taking Out Loans So Their Kids Can Attend a Pricey School

Baylor University, a Baptist institution located in Waco, Texas, is a well-respected school. Over the years, it has risen steadily in the college ratings and now ranks among the top 100 American universities. But Baylor is expensive–tuition and fees are about $50,000 a year. Low-income students can take out federal loans, but these loans are … Read more

College Students Are Paying For Stuff at School They Don’t Need

Perhaps the most inane car insurance commercial ever aired is one by Liberty Mutual: “Only pay for what you need.” Apparently, Liberty Mutual wants auto drivers to believe that it is the only insurance company that allows customers to buy car insurance tailored to their needs. But doesn’t every insurer do that? Nevertheless, the slogan … Read more