The Indentured Class: The Social Costs of Student Debt (KPCC Forum Series)

September 30, 2015

7:00pm - 8:30pm

Keck Theatre, Occidental College
1600 Campus Road
Los Angeles, CA 90041


Debbie Cochrane, Research Director, The Institute for College Access & Success
Maureen McRae Goldberg, Executive Director of Financial Aid, Occidental College
Devon Graves, Student Member, California Student Aid Commission; Graduate Student, University of California, Los Angeles
Perry Wong, Managing Director, Research, Milken Institute




Video of "The Indentured Class: The Social Costs of Student Debt" event courtesy of Southern California Public Radio / KPCC. (p) 2015, Southern California Public Radio. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

kpcc mi v2If you are just out of school, you may be facing years of debt repayment for the cost of that education, and finding a good job may not be easy. Income levels for most middle-class workers have remained flat for the past 30 years while price tags for housing, transportation, and especially education, have climbed relentlessly. During this time, University of California tuition rates have increased by 800 percent. Over the past decade tuition at the California State University system has increased more than 283 percent. As a result, many young Californians begin their careers in circumstances not unlike the indentured servants of the past — working for years just to repay debt which is approaching $30,000 for most students post-graduation.

This debt — and a difficult job market — make loan repayment difficult and prevent many students from buying cars or homes. As students are increasingly forced to borrow to pay ever-increasing tuition, and as housing prices continue to rise, can we expect more young people and families to be driven from the state in search of a lifestyle they can afford?  In the last 20 years, California has seen an exodus of almost 4 million people to other U.S. states. What are the social effects of rising education costs on the purchasing power of graduated and — indentured — students? Are there ways to slow or reverse rising costs and stop students from spiraling into debt while building a system responsive to 21st century needs?

Moderated by 
Adolfo Guzman-Lopez

Debbie Cochrane: Research Director at The Institute for College Access & Success(TICAS) and its Project on Student Debt, and is an expert on financial aid policy and practice.  She also leads the organization’s policy and advocacy work on national community college issues and California higher education, and has testified at California legislative, budget, and oversight hearings. She was formerly a policy analyst at the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education. (@TICAS_org)

Maureen McRae Goldberg: Executive Director of Financial Aid at Occidental College; she is past president of the California Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (CASFAA) and has been involved in leadership positions in many state, regional, and national financial aid associations (@OxyNews)

Devon Graves: Student Member, California Student Aid Commission; he is a graduate student at the University of California, Los Angeles, pursuing a Masters of Arts degree in higher education (@DevonLGraves) 

Perry Wong: Managing Director, Research for Asia, California, China, Energy, Human Capital, Regional Economics, and Technology at the Milken Institute

@TICAS_org (Debbie Cochrane, The Institute for College Access & Success)
@OxyNews (Maureen McRae Goldberg, Occidental College)
@DevonLGraves (Devon Graves, California Student Aid commission)

This program is the second in our series, “Rescuing the California Dream: Policies for an Affordable Future.” The series is co-presented by KPCC/Southern California Public Radio and the Milken Institute.

Thousands of Californians face the very real possibility of being priced out of their communities. These public forums will explore the rising cost of education and housing and the dwindling opportunity to reach, or remain within, the middle class. In the first three programs, leaders in government, business, academia, community and philanthropy will dissect the problems and search for solutions to California’s affordability challenge. A fourth installment will be part of the 2015 Milken Institute California Summit and will serve as a platform to provide expert analysis and inform potential policy recommendations.