As with so many other public goods, predatory Wall Street financiers are increasingly looking to higher education as another source of profits. In 2012, $45 billion—9% of all higher education spending—was spent on servicing the institutional debts of colleges and universities, on student loan interest payments, and in profits to for-profit institutions of higher education. This is over double the amount paid on these items—$21 billion—in 2002. The growth of individual and institutional borrowing and the huge growth of for-profit education raise important questions about our priorities with regards to higher education.
We believe that reclaiming the promise of higher education means making sure that a college education, provided by a high quality and professionally supported faculty, is accessible and affordable for all students. It means the promise of college success without being shackled to a large debt bill when finished. It means making sure that the money we spend on our colleges and universities goes to educating and supporting our students, not enriching Wall Street.