not sure whether student loan debt is exaggerated on other campuses, but here
at Brooklyn College the amount of debt is surely overstated. The faculty of
CUNY, which includes BC, has consistently protested tuition hikes, on grounds
that student debt is unacceptably high.
my new survey of BC students found that few have significant loan indebtedness. Only 15.2
percent of 402 students surveyed took out loans of at least $1,000 for the
current academic year; with only 7.2 percent having current loans of at least
$4,500. Among NYC high school graduates,
4.0 percent of those whose tuition is fully paid by grants and scholarships
have current loans above $1000; 16.1 percent among those with no tuition
subsidy. The CUNY Value report also found that
only a very small share of CUNY students take out loans. By contrast, my study found that for all
those who graduated a non-NYC high school, 32.0 percent have current loans of
at least $1,000; 16.7 percent having current loans of at least $4,500. Thus,
reports of high CUNY student indebtedness reflects the indebtedness of non-NYC
high school graduates, especially when the data includes the loans transfer
students took out at their former schools.
Robert Cherry is Broeklundian
Professor at Brooklyn College.