The View From America
There was very little defense of the U.S. system from Americans. The system’s complexity can lead to many problems.
The cost of student loan debt, repayment and default, when spread over the economy as a whole, is one of the main stumbling blocks toward economic prosperity (if not THE main stumbling block). On a personal level, my friends and I marvel each month at the amounts we are paying; “if only we were spending this money on [insert name of slow-growth sector of the economy]!”
Something touched upon in the article is the fact that repayment in the United States is not through the tax system. Instead, it occurs through quasi-private, quasi-governmental (read: quasi-horrible) agencies. — Bo Shoemaker, Rochester
‘Threatens the Future of the U.S.’
The college debt situation threatens the future of the U.S. The best and brightest may not be able to take on debts, or may be forced to choose careers for which they are overqualified. Meanwhile, Europe is investing in its best and brightest. Even undocumented immigrants who meet the qualifications for university entrance do not pay tuition. For the long term, I’m putting my bets on Europe to produce the most effective young work force. — Eddie, anywhere
‘Makes Me Nauseous’ to Write This
The interest rate charged on student loans in the U.S. is beyond ridiculous. My average interest rate for all my loans is 7.2 percent; of the $80,000 I’ve paid back since I graduated six years ago, $50,000 has gone toward interest. It makes me nauseous just to type it out. — Joseph, Brooklyn
The View From Elsewhere
In Germany, ‘Everyone Appreciates the Federal Support’
I am attending a German university. Most universities and colleges are public ones and are considered to be the best. There are no fees for higher education; instead, the German federal state offers loans for living costs.
No student that I know here is therefore in high debt and everyone appreciates the federal support for higher education (called Bafög). No German actually understands why American or English colleges are so expensive (also the reason very few German students go abroad for their entire studies). — Melissa, Munich