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Essay: Lowering Student Debt Is Everyone's Responsibility

Many are saying the amount of debt that students take on to attend college has become a national crisis. In an essay in Inside Higher Education, Michael Bugeja goes beyond lamenting about the situation to offer concrete steps that everyone can take to reign in the costs of getting a degree.

Starting at the top, regents and trustees should be wary of "mission creep" and presidents need to raise money for student scholarships not just pay for new buildings, suggests Bugeja, director of the Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication at Iowa State University. If provosts are intentional about how tuition increases are distributed and deans focus on high-priority programs with strong enrollment, institutions can better serve students and contain costs. Bugeja goes on with specific suggestions for chief information officers, department chairs, faculty, staff, and everyone to do what they can to lower tuition and ease student debt.

At a time when report after report highlights the problem of mounting debt, Bugeja gives campus leaders some solutions to help to tackle it. Will they listen?

(In full disclosure, I serve with Bugeja on a journalism advisory board at my alma mater, ISU.)

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