ECCE Speaker Series - Indentured Students: Higher Education and the Student Loan Crisis
From Cody Pope
Would the candidates, if elected, expunge the over $1.7 trillion owed for schooling to banks and the federal government? The importance of this question invited an additional query: why do Americans—at rates that vastly outpace our peers across the globe—borrow so much to go to college? Join us as Elizabeth Tandy Shermer explains that it didn’t always take thirty years to pay off the cost of a bachelor’s degree. The story of skyrocketing college debt is not merely one of good intentions gone wrong. Instead, she tells us how politicians intentionally created a loan program that has left students—especially women and those of color—owing more and more—and how it can be changed.
Elizabeth Tandy Shermer is an associate professor of history at Loyola University Chicago, where she teaches courses on labor, capitalism, and politics. She has written about those topics in opeds, academic articles, and scholarly books, including Sunbelt Capitalism (2013) and The Right and Labor, a 2012 edited collection done with Nelson Lichtenstein, and a 2013 edited collection on Barry Goldwater. Harvard University Press published her history of student loans, Indentured Students, under its Belknap Press imprint in August 2021.