Student Debt Rises

Doug Henwood (who publishes Left Business Observer) has a nice summary of the New York Federal Reserve Bank recent publication on consumer debt, which notes that only student debt has been rising lately.   Note too, the link at the bottom of Henwood’s column to another post of his from 2010 that analyzes college costs.

OSU plans to raise undergraduate tuition and fees by 3.2% for next year, a move that’s brought no comment or public complaint from students or others (which of course may say as much about the news media as anything).

When I was at Virginia Tech and served on the university planning and budgeting committee, the representation from the Comptroller’s office explained that the university used marketing research and focus groups to determine the optimal size and pace of tuition increases — at what point would the rates keep so many students away that the increases would actually result in losing money; their lobbyists would work at the point at which increases might begin to alienate legislators.

Student debt up, all other kinds down

The New York Fed is out with its credit report for the first quarter of 2012. It shows student debt bucking the trend (“Student Loan Debt Continues to Grow”), rising while all other kinds of debt fell from the end of last year. Student debt, at $904 billion (not yet the much-advertised trillion), is now considerably larger than credit card and auto debt. A decade ago, student debt was a less than half credit cards and autos.

. . . .

For the quarter, student debt rose by $30 billion, or 3.4%, while all other kinds of debt fell by $131 billion, or 1.2%. Of the other major categories, only auto debt was up (but just 0.3%); mortgages (-1.0%), credit cards (-3.6%), and home equity lines (-2.4%) all fell. Debt has broadly been falling for almost four years, but student debt continues to rise.  Read More from Henwood

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