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What Caused The Student Debt Crisis and What People Can Do About It
Yonkers, NY – Consumer Reports has partnered with the nonprofit Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting to produce a special report examining the nation’s growing student debt crisis, in which some 42 million people owe $1.3 trillion. The report explores how the crisis occurred, and what people—including parents and students—can do about it today.
The education debt report is being released concurrently today by both institutions, with a cover story in Consumer Reports’ August issue, and online at both ConsumerReports.org/studentdebt and RevealNews.org/studentdebtCR and Reveal contributed unique pieces of content, including separate articles reported and written by each organization, along with videos, infographics, survey findings, and student profiles.
Reveal’s version of the investigation dives deeper into the players and decisions that created the student debt crisis today—including the roles played by banks and investment firms, private investors, debt collection agencies, the federal government, and public universities.
In addition, the topic is the focus of Reveal’s hour-long public radio show and podcast, which has begun airing on public radio stations across the country and will be available on the Reveal podcast on Monday, July 4th: www.revealnews.org/podcast
CIR and Consumer Reports also are partnering on a social media campaign using the hashtag #mydebtcouldbuy. On Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, we are asking readers to share the amount they owe in student debt, paired with the hashtag and an example of what they could purchase for that amount: for example, a new car, a tropical vacation, or 2,500 cups of coffee.
The two organizations hope that this joint effort will illuminate the forces that led to the debt crisis, illustrate the profound and lasting impact the debt can have, and offer practical advice for those looking to avoid the trap. The report includes a guide on how parents can have a frank talk about financing college with their teens, built around 10 key questions every family should discuss before they choose a school.
Degrees of Debt & Regret
Because the data consistently shows that getting a college education translates into a better future and higher lifetime earnings, it should be worth the money you spend on it. But try telling that to the 1,500 Americans with student debt who responded to a nationally representative March 2016 Consumer Reports National Research Center survey. The burden of paying off significant loans has left many questioning whether college was worth the cost after they left.
Forty-five percent of people who are no longer in college and have student loan debt said that college was not worth the cost. Of those who said college wasn’t worth the money:
The package includes a section called “Having the College Money Talk,” which suggests that parents and teens sit down together for a frank discussion about family finances and create an action plan so that everyone can weigh his or her options rationally when acceptance letters and student aid offers are on the table. It begins with 10 key questions.
For the full report, visit: ConsumerReports.org/studentdebt
Here’s a look at some of the questions and tips:
About Consumer Reports
Consumer Reports is the world’s largest and most trusted nonprofit, consumer organization working to improve the lives of consumers by driving marketplace change. Founded in 1936, Consumer Reports has achieved substantial gains for consumers on health reform, food and product safety, financial reform, and other issues.
The organization has advanced important policies to cut hospital-acquired infections, prohibit predatory lending practices, and combat dangerous toxins in food. Consumer Reports tests and rates thousands of products and services in its 50-plus labs, state-of-the-art auto test center and consumer research center. Consumers Union, a division of Consumer Reports, works for pro-consumer laws and regulations in Washington, D.C., the states, and in the marketplace.
With more than eight million subscribers to its flagship magazine, website, and other publications, Consumer Reports accepts no advertising, payment, or other support from the companies whose products it evaluates.
About Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting
Reveal is the groundbreaking multimedia platform for in-depth journalism and storytelling from The Center for Investigative Reporting, the nation’s first independent investigative reporting organization. With PRX, CIR co-produces the nationally distributed Reveal radio show and podcast, which features original reporting from Reveal’s newsroom, as well as stories from public radio stations and a wide range of media partners, both nonprofit and commercial.
Devoted to holding powerful interests accountable to the public trust, CIR creatively employs cutting-edge technology and innovative storytelling to reveal injustice, spark change at all levels of society and influence public dialogue on critical issues. CIR is the recipient of the prestigious MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions, winner of 2013 and 2015 Emmy Awards and a 2013 George Foster Peabody Award, and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2012 (for local reporting) and 2013 (for public service).
For more, visit revealnews.org
TopicsCollege, Consumer Reports, Education, ROTC, scholarships, Student Loans, Yonkers NY
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