New Report Shines Spotlight On Student Loan “Crisis”

When many of us think about student loans, we probably visualize a fresh-faced 20-year-old striding across a picturesque campus at a traditional four-year school. If we’re thinking about surging student loan defaults however, that visual would be wrong.

The dramatic rise in enrollment at for-profit schools is best exemplified by reviewing the top 25 schools whose students owed the most federal student loan debt. In 2000, only one for-profit institution appeared on this list. In 2014, however, 13 for-profit-schools populated the list. These borrowers owed approximately $109 billion — nearly 10% of all federal student loans. According to a new report from the Brookings Institution, the “so-called student loan crisis in the U.S. is largely concentrated among non-traditional borrowers attending for-profit schools and other non-selective institutions, who have relatively weak educational outcomes and difficulty finding jobs after starting to repay their loans.”

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