Student Loans

Jae Lee / WBAA News

Next year, Purdue opens its Polytechnic High School in Indianapolis. It’ll work within the Indianapolis Public Schools, but also be a competitor in some ways.

And it’ll offer something no other high school in Indiana does – direct admission to a university upon graduation.

So as more and more schools advertise to lure students away from their competitors, does Purdue have an unfair advantage?

We pose that question to Mitch Daniels on this month’s conversation with him.

Joint Economic Committee

Congresspeople liked the idea so much the first time he brought it up, they asked Mitch Daniels back to address it at length. 

Several months after casually mentioning individual investors might take on the cost of some students' educations, Purdue University President Mitch Daniels joined a conservative-leaning panel Wednesday to address a joint congressional committee about what he sees as the scourge of student loan debt.

Keith Cooper / https://www.flickr.com/photos/cooperweb/8363160192

Even though the average American student racks up $35,000 in college loan debt, the vast majority believe it’s worth it.

That’s the key finding among the 30,000 college grads polled in this year’s Gallup-Purdue Index.

More than three of every four grads agree or strongly agree their college’s cost did not outstrip the value of a diploma later in life.

Brandon Busteed, who lead’s Gallup’s education polling, says he’s surprised only 50-percent strongly agree with that.

Claire McInerny / StateImpact Indiana

The way to a meaningful college education is becoming increasingly complicated. The nation’s job force is demanding a college degree at the same time it’s becoming more and more expensive to get one.

Tuition is increasing and grants and financial assistance aren’t keeping pace. Young people are taking out thousands of dollars to get just a bachelor’s degree.

Purdue University

Mitch Daniels has tried to make his time as Purdue President about student affordability – so this month in our regular conversation with him, we ask about the plans from three people who’d also like to be president – of the United States.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the former Republican governor doesn’t have rave reviews for education savings plans from the top three contenders for the 2016 Democratic nomination.

Owen Parrish / https://www.flickr.com/photos/oparrish/3601673876

Indiana University senior Kathryn Johnson figured out last year that she wanted to be a nurse. Her dad was hospitalized and she was fascinated by what she learned from the nurses.

"The more I talked to them and how they radiate positivity even when everything seemed so dark and dire and serious I really appreciated how professional they could be and how uplifting they could be," Johnson says.

It’s obvious Johnson has the positivity she admired in other nurses. But get her talking about her student loans and that optimism vanishes.

State And Federal Legislation Addresses Student Debt Literacy

Mar 19, 2015
Andrew Bossi / https://www.flickr.com/photos/thisisbossi/

While the cost of college across the country has been going up, so has the average amount of student loan debt.  Legislation in both the state and federal governments is now looking at educating students who borrow money for college about just how big their burden is. 

Purdue University

Purdue’s two-year-old tuition freeze appears to be lowering the amount of debt Boilermakers are assuming.

In the 2010-2011 school year, students on the West Lafayette campus had amassed about $223 million in debt. Through the first month of this school year, that number is about $40 million smaller – an average decrease of about $1000 per student.

Purdue’s outgoing student body president is calling on Congress to keep subsidized student loan interest rates low.

Brett Highley joined student body presidents of 200 other colleges in signing a letter that requests lawmakers take necessary action to prevent rates from doubling.

He says that’s another obstacle recent graduates can’t afford to face in this economy.

The National Campus Leadership Conference reports average college students are graduating with about $25,000 in loan debt.