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Student Debt: Setting the Record Straight

Student debt is constantly in the news as tuition levels increase and millions of borrowers default on their loans. But the public discussion of student lending too often focuses on sensational stories about the rare borrowers with enormous debts and misses the most important problems, such as the struggles of college dropouts who borrow very little. As a result, policymaking rarely focuses on borrowers most in need of help.

On Thursday, September 22, the Urban Institute hosted a discussion about two new books that separate fact from fiction around student debt: Student Debt: Rhetoric and Realities of Higher Education Financing, by Sandy Baum, and Game of Loans: The Rhetoric and Reality of Student Debt, by Beth Akers and Matthew Chingos. The three authors discussed the data and research behind the provocative arguments of their new books and what it all means for higher education policymaking.


  • Beth Akers, fellow, Brookings Institution
  • Sandy Baum, senior fellow, Urban Institute
  • Matthew Chingos, senior fellow, Urban Institute
  • Catherine Rampell, opinion writer, Washington Post (moderator)
Event materials

Send any questions or inquiries to [email protected].

Date & Time Thursday, September 22, 2016
Urban Institute 2100 M Street NW
5th floor
Washington , DC , 20037
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  • Nonresident Senior Fellow
  • Vice President, Education Data and Policy