When the Supreme Court decided Biden v. Nebraska, which declared President Biden’s loan forgiveness program unconstitutional, I am sure it was to the frustration of many around the nation and especially here at Cornell that loans are expected to be repaid. While borrowers groan at their financial constraints, there are few who ask why they have these loans at all. Yes, an obvious answer may be that they cannot afford to pay $88,150 a year, the cost of a Cornell degree. But that only answers the surface level question; it does not address why one needs a Cornell degree, or any degree for that matter. The deeper question being proposed is what the purpose of a university is.
On May 5, Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-N.Y.) introduced the Student Loan Forgiveness for Frontline Workers Act, which would forgive the loans acquired to receive medical and professional training of medical workers directly involved in COVID-19 patient care.
Data from the University show that financial aid policy has taken several turns in the past decade, and in the past five years, loans have increased significantly, while grant aid has stayed roughly similar relative to the increase in loans.
If you go to Cornell, you either have a health insurance plan or you are a clever rulebreaker. If your parents didn’t shell out for eligible private insurance, then you’re likely on the University’s Student Health Plan, which is comprehensive and student-tailored. Students with lower incomes can enroll in a related plan, called SHP+, free of charge. So for most, enrolling in a health plan is but a matter of setting and forgetting. But not for everyone.
The national student-loan default rate increased by 13 percent in 2006, leaving many concerned about the effects the current financial crisis will have on borrowers over the next two years.
The cohort default rate measured the number of borrowers who were due to enter repayment in 2006 but failed to make any payments on their loan, and defaulted after two fiscal years.
The rate, which was 4.6 percent in 2005, increased to 5.2 percent in 2006, according to a report released by the Department of Education in September.
With the meltdown of some of Wall Street’s largest investment banks and the current choked state of the credit market, the future of the student-loan default rate remains unclear.
Last August, Congress signed into law the Higher Education Opportunity Act, which reauthorizes the Higher Education Act of 1965. This act is the first piece of comprehensive higher education reform legislation in 10 years and totals over 1,000 pages in length. The law is broad in scope, focusing on problems such as the complex financial aid process and the rising cost of textbooks as well as illegal file sharing on campus. This is the first in a series of three articles that examine the various aspects of this law.