Wednesday, Nov 30, 2011 8:00 AM 08:37:52 EST
Who’s making a killing off student loans?
By Sarah Jaffe, Alternet
Underneath the now-iconic red sculpture at Liberty Plaza, now cleared of tents and ringed by barricades plastic-cuffed together, several “students” stood draped in fake chains over their caps and gowns, brandishing debt bills instead of diplomas.
They might have been performing, as part of a press conference unveiling a national student debt refusal pledge, but the dramatization of what happens upon graduation to many of America’s students was spot-on. Despite a few moves by the Obama administration in past years and even recent months to lessen the burden of student loans, many graduates are still saddled with more debt than they can conceivably pay back and have little hope of finding a good job in the current economy.
Monday saw protests against tuition hikes on either end of the country; at New York’s Baruch College of the City University of New York, the Board of Trustees voted for another tuition hike and according to reports, a student kicked off the day’s actions by burning his Sallie Mae student loan bill. University of Californis, Davis, responding to the brutal pepper-spraying of students last week, also kept its focus on economic issues, chanting, “No cuts, no fees, education must be free,” and reportedly shutting down the financial aid building.