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Trump and Democrats align more closely on student debt than they think

The Honorable Sheila C. Bair
 

By Sheila Bair (Original source Yahoo Finance)

‘“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet” cooed Juliet Capulet to her beloved Romeo Montague, in an oft-quoted expression of how the names of things do not always reflect what they really are.

So it is with income share agreements, or ISAs — a new way to finance college, where students are only obliged to pay an affordable percentage of their income after they graduate, instead of a fixed-debt obligation. While the concept of ISAs seems to have support among Republicans and Democrats, its very name is prompting partisan sword-fighting to match the blood feud between the Montagues and Capulets in Shakespeare’s famed play.

A replacement for America’s disastrous loan system
The main point of contention seems to be around investor-funded ISAs where Democrats like Senator Elizabeth Warren are understandably concerned that Wall Street sharpies will take advantage of vulnerable kids. Republicans, in contrast, like encouraging market-based solutions to rising student debt obligations and think the risk of abuse can be mitigated with appropriate consumer protections. While I tend to think that properly regulated private ISAs have a role in funding college, particularly at the graduate level, their greater value lies as a government program to replace our disastrous federal student loan system.”

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