The White House released an embargoed action report on student debt early Tuesday morning. This report, entitled “Taking Action: Higher Education and Student Debt”, is a part of a week-long message push by President Barack Obama on the subject of student loans.
According to the report, Pennsylvania has 2.1 million federal student loan borrowers totaling 50.5 million dollars in outstanding federal student loan debt. In New Jersey, these numbers are 1.2 million borrowers totaling 28.5 million in debt. For Delaware, it is 508,000 borrowers with 11.7 million dollars in debt.
The report stated that of students earning a bachelor’s degree today, 71 percent graduate with debt. The average debt of a student pursuing a bachelor’s degree was also documented at over 29,000 dollars. An analysis of the last three decades in the report reveals that the average tuition at a public, four-year college has more than tripled, while the median family income has only changed slightly.
The Director of Domestic Policy at the White House, Cecilia Muñoz, says that student loan debt has surpassed 1 trillion dollars, outpacing the current amount of credit card debt in the country.
“At the time when college education is more important than ever, students are graduating with more debt than ever,” Muñoz said.
The report also estimates almost half of the federal student loan borrowers in Pennsylvania and New Jersey will benefit from loan refinancing, while about 14 percent of Delaware. borrowers will benefit. Additionally, over 193,000 P.A. borrowers, 94,000 N.J. borrowers, and 10,000 D.E. borrowers are estimated to benefit from the Pay As You Earn plan announced yesterday in a presidential memorandum. The plan, set to be available in December 2015, will allow almost 5 million additional borrowers to cap their student loan payments at 10 percent of their income.
Muñoz says the goal of the president is to “make sure a college education is obtainable.”
In addition to the embargoed report, the president also did a live question and answer session with Tumblr about making college more affordable.