Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro will team up with Seth Frotman, executive director of the Student Borrower Protection Center, next Monday, Oct. 7, at a town hall meeting in Philadelphia to discuss the student loan crisis in the state.
The free event will include a discussion with Shapiro, Frotman, and other experts, as well as a forum for parents, students, and others affected by college debt to discuss their experiences, including problems with student lenders, loan servicers, for-profit colleges, and student loan relief scams.
- Navient, your student loan servicer, is under pressure from an activist hedge fund. Is that good or bad for borrowers?
- They’ve nearly paid off $150K in student loans in about a decade, but wish they had done things differently at the start
- Why isn’t Philly mad about student loan crisis? This Temple professor wants to change that.
Pennsylvania ranks second in the nation in college-graduate debt, and the Philadelphia area represents ground zero for college loans. Nationally, student loans total $1.6 trillion and affect 45 million Americans, according to LendEDU.
The state-related Pennsylvania State University ranks among the most expensive public colleges in the nation, and has a trail of indebted graduates, especially from its satellite campuses.
Two of the country’s largest loan servicers, Navient and the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency, are based near Philadelphia, Navient in Wilmington and PHEAA in Harrisburg. Both are routinely criticized for customer service, and are facing lawsuits alleging that they steer borrowers into costly loans and fail to give them the financial relief to which they are legally entitled.
Nationally, the Class of 2018 four-year graduates’ average student debt totals $29,200, according to the Institute for College Access and Success, which issued a report last month.
About two in three students who graduated from public and private nonprofit colleges in 2018 had student loan debt. The 2018 debt level was 2% higher than the 2017 average of $28,650, according to the Institute for College Access and Success.
Between 2008 and 2012, during the budget crises caused by the Great Recession, state and local appropriations to colleges fell by $2,000 per student. At the same time, student borrowing rose by nearly $1,100 per student. More recently, as state spending has partially rebounded, the student debt situation has improved. With state funding increasing by $1,150 between 2012 and 2016, average student borrowing fell by $500.