The Graduate Student Debt Review is an overview of the graduate and professional school debt landscape. Authored by Jason Delisle of the New America Foundation through the NAF's Education Policy Program, it extracts the US Dept of Education's quadrennial National Postsecondary Student Aid Study.
It's depressing. Health sciences professionals have the highest debt, and ...
...it looks like the level of our debt is rising faster than that of other groups. Works out ok for a high earner, like an MD* but not so good for us DVMs. Our compensations are low- and dropping- while our unemployment rate is rising. To cope, we avail ourselves of IBR programs like Public Service Loan Forgiveness. Such programs are targeted in the report as unfair, unwise and a "tuition financing mechanism".
Unfortunately, I have to agree.
There can be no higher ed reform without reform of higher ed financing- which means shutting off the roaring spigot of unlimited federal student loan funds students are sucking down with no thought for repayment. Schools are only propping themselves up with this flow of money, intended purely for support of workers in fields with societal benefit, but now, according to this article in the Chronicle of Higher Education, tainted by the profit motive.
John Snow founded the field of modern epidemiology when he stopped cholera in London in 1854 by removing the Broad Street pump handle, thus denying people access to the water that was killing them. So must we remove the pump handle enabling the student debt epidemic that is killing us.
*Although MD salaries are lower in such unsexy fields as family practice and pediatrics, and falling in some of the really high flying fields like orthopedics; this presages the absolute tailspin MD compensation will enter as the health services market undergoes price discovery via health care reform.