OK, we all know that student loan debt is a serious problem across the United States.
But how big of an issue is it, really?
Short and quick answer: Outsized. Off the charts. So challenging in many instances that it seriously compromises the quality of life and future opportunities of millions of Americans.
When the White House formally weighs in on the matter, you know it’s of troubling dimensions.
Officials from within the Obama administration — including the president himself — have in fact often addressed the sorely perplexing problem of spiraling debt levels that challenge millions of students.
The White House recently spotlighted the matter through its new emphasis on a so-called Student Aid Bill of Rights. The document features a few key points that address material concerns and considerations central to the country’s educational system and the loan process.
One media commentary on the bill — which, of course, is primarily symbolic in nature and lacking legislative teeth — both lauds and criticizes it.
On the one hand, notes Bob Hildreth, an educational reformer commenting on the document for the Huffington Post, the bill is notably salutary for the spotlight it accords student debt.
On the other hand, Hildreth says that the bill is primarily focused on the mere management of high debt levels rather their curbing through what is truly important, namely, reduced tuition fees for all students.
Given that, he notes, the enumerated rights “do not lift the shackles of debt from the backs of our students.”
Only a cutting back on “the exorbitant rise in tuition” can do that, he says.
Interestingly, Hildreth joins other reform writers who have endorsed the idea of making it easier for students overwhelmed by educational debt to discharge it through the bankruptcy process.