Dam the Debt
As Former College President Sheila C. Bair noted at her inauguration in September 2015, borrowers are putting off the commitments that mark the major life choices that help keep our country strong—saving for the future, buying homes and cars, and even starting families.
“Just as subprime loans hurt our economy as cash-strapped borrowers struggled to pay their mortgages at the expense of other consumer spending,” Bair said, “so do high student debt loads promise the same negative impact on economic growth.”
Washington College graduates who have financed their education hold an average debt of $35,000. While the College provides more than $23 million in grants and scholarships each year, it’s clearly not enough.
So what more can we do to relieve the burden of debt and help our young graduates thrive? How do we meet our responsibility as George Washington’s college to build a stronger, more fiscally sound America?
Dam the Debt is Former President Sheila Bair’s answer to those questions. As part of her initiative to make a private college education more affordable, Former President Bair seeks to adjust the financial aid award for every senior carrying debt at the time of graduation. Calling for an additional $1 million in scholarship funding each year over the next four years, Dam the Debt can reduce student borrowing by one-third, and help our graduates contribute to a growing national economy.
In the News
College President Sheila Bair is interviewed by Politico’s higher education team on topics including Dam the Debt, George’s Brigade, college affordability and whether colleges and universities should start sharing some of the risk on student loans.
7/29/16 The Chronicle of Higher Education
College President Sheila Bair is interviewed by The Chronicle of Higher Education’s Ruth Hammond for the Chronicle’s video series “On Leadership” about student loan debt, the parallels to the subprime mortgage crisis, and Washington College’s own efforts to lower college costs and make college more affordable.
04/29/16: RT “Boom Bust”
College President Sheila Bair discusses Dam the Debt and other initiatives to lower student debt.
The Washington Post, 4/19/16
College President Sheila Bair discusses the rollout of Dam the Debt, which will reduce the federally subsidized loans of graduating seniors by 10 percent.
College President Sheila Bair describes the Dam the Debt program and how it will reduce the spring 2016 federally subsidized student loans for graduating seniors.
CNN Money, 4/19/16
College President Sheila Bair is quoted in this story about the Dam the Debt program.