For all the disparities in the movement’s demands, on at least one issue, Occupy protestors seem to be of one voice:
|Indiana Public University Grads: Average Debt & Percentage of Grads With Debt|
|School||Avg. Debt||Grads w/ Debt|
In some cases — like for the college graduate profiled in a recent article in the Chronicle of Higher Education who has $100,000 in debt and uncertain job prospects — this is unarguably true. But such cases make for dramatic reading precisely because they are so rare…
Most of those with that much debt have graduate degrees; it is difficult to accumulate that much debt in an undergraduate program…
Only 0.1 percent of college entrants, and only 0.3 percent of bachelor’s degree recipients, accumulate more than $100,000 in undergraduate student debt. If you have more than $75,000 in undergraduate debt, you are the 1 percent – just not the 1 percent you might have been hoping for…
Even among recipients of bachelor’s degrees, 90 percent manage to graduate with less than $40,000 of debt. What happened to the other 10 percent is no particular mystery: they are less likely to come from wealthy families, but they attended pricier schools and paid for more years of tuition.
Data from the Project on Student Debt, funded in part by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, shows the average graduate from public universities in Indiana leaves school with between $21,000 and $30,000 of student debt.
Meanwhile, Occupy protestors are upping the ante.
A group called the Occupy Student Debt Campaign has launched an initiative to stop repayment on student debts. They’ve created an online pledge for people to commit to stop repaying their student loans — that is, if a total of 1 million other student “debtors” stop repaying too.
The theory of a ‘debtor’s strike’ might not necessarily create the “safety in numbers” the protests hope for, as the federal government will likely still cracking down hard on those who refuse to repay, writes Inside Higher Ed.
What do you think — is that a student debt strike a good idea? Or are the arguments that American students overburdened with debt a little overblown?