As candidates posture over school debt, schools take action

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Columnists

January 27, 2020 - 12:49 PM

College and universities are talking about ensuring greater accessibility to the high-quality education they provide and designing effective strategies to improve student success and help build the knowledgeable and well-trained workforce that our nation needs.

As the 2020 election ramps up, student loan debt has emerged as a hot-button issue on the campaign trail, with several presidential hopefuls releasing plans to solve what they are calling a “crisis.”

The size of student debt — which has roughly tripled in the last dozen years and now exceeds $1.5 trillion — is undeniably sobering, and it is an especially serious matter for students from low- and middle-income families. Our candidates are right to be talking about it.

But as with other major national issues that have become topics of partisan debate, political rancor and packaged sound bites threaten to upstage the immense amount of energy going into reducing this problem. It obscures how Midwestern common-sense initiatives are showing real results.

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