Once homeless Kansas University professor wants to help students and their families.
Associate professor William Elliott of Kansas University’s School of Social Welfare has some sobering words about student loan debt. Ben Unglesbee from the Lawrence Journal-World says:
Elliott is also the founding director of the KU Assets and Education Initiative, which has put out research on how student loans might affect the wealth gap between rich and poor.
A November report from the group, which Elliott wrote with Melinda Lewis, a KU associate professor of social welfare, points out that college students without debt have nearly three times the lifelong net worth of students who borrow to pay for college. Student borrowers also have 41 percent less home equity than their debt-free peers, save less for retirement and often carry their student loan debt into retirement age.
The result of that sort of crippling debt is that lower income students remain stuck in that vicious cycle, Elliott’s group contends, but that’s not all. The mere thought of that kind of debt may keep some lower income students from even considering college.
We’ve heard the gloom an doom news about spiraling student loan debt for years, but what’s special about Elliott is that he’s doing something about it. His group is advocating “the idea of reorganizing student aid to help students and families save for college is a way to change the expectations students have about college. And it could prepare them not just for college but also a lifetime of savings and asset collection — even if at modest levels, on low incomes.”
You can read the full article here.
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