WXXI AM News

Student Loans

The incoming Biden administration is considering an executive order that could wipe out a significant amount of student loan debt. Our guests discuss their perspectives on how such a move would impact Americans.

Our guests:

  • Carlton Galbreath, professor and director of the Business Management Program at Missoula College
  • Rynn Reed, local political activist

Brighton graduate Toby Merrill was named to Time Magazine's list of the "100 Next." That's because Merrill has been a leader in the fight against predatory for-profit colleges and institutions. As student debt piled past one trillion dollars, Merrill launched a plan to combat what she calls the "worst-of-the-worst student debt." Merrill is the founder and director of Harvard Law School's Project on Predatory Student Lending. Her team represents thousands of former students who have been fleeced and lied to, often ending up with piles of debt and worthless degrees. One of her most recent cases named Education Secretary Betsy DeVos as a defendant.

We discuss the plight of student loan debt, the worst offenders, and why the industry is still so profitable. Our guest:

Senator Elizabeth Warren is proposing student loan debt forgiveness that could wipe out 95 percent of loan debt in this country. Her critics say the plan is too expensive, too beneficial to the financially comfortable, and unfair to others who have had to pay off their loans in the past. Her supporters say the plan is the first to fully address the loan debt crisis, and could spark new economic growth.

We discuss the plan with our guest and our listeners. In studio:

  • Patrick Coyle, graduate assistant at SUNY Brockport and supporter of Senator Warren

In his 2018 State of the State address, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a proposed series of reforms to help relieve loan debt for college and university students in New York State. Student loan debt accounts for 10 percent of debt balance in the U.S., making it the second highest category of loan debt after mortgage debt. In New York, the average student loan debt total is more than $30,000.

This hour, we discuss the governor’s proposed reforms and their potential impact on students. We also discuss the importance of financial literacy with our guests. In studio:

  • Chuck Wade, vice president and financial adviser, Brighton Securities
  • Bianca Bishop, health care integrator at Hillside Family of Agencies
  • Shadi Kafi, attorney, former teacher and administrator, and aspiring author

Sarah Ackroyd is a medical student at University of Rochester. She's studying to be an oncologist.

"As you can imagine the cost of education has been a lot for me, I've been in school for nearly ten years. And although I'm very grateful for the support that my parents and scholarship has provided for me, a lot of my education has been financed through federal loans."

One of those federal loan programs is the Perkins Loan. The program offers low interest rates, and deferment while in school, to help students that come from lower income households.

We take a look at Senator Elizabeth Warren's proposal to alleviate student loan debt. Can it work? Our panel includes expertise from education, finance, and an economist. Senator Warren notes that the country's combined student loan debt now exceeds a trillion dollars, and she calls it a scandal. Joining us to talk about this is: 

It's decision day for high school seniors, and many will choose to take on student loans. Student loan debt has become an increasingly large load, and interest rates are often higher than the interest on mortgages. Is college worth the investment? How financially literate are students? We hear from a diverse panel, including Chuck Wade, financial consultant for Brighton Securities and John Serafine, lead counselor at Fairport High School. 

Financial Planners Offer Post College Advice

May 31, 2012

Now is the time for recent college graduates to start stashing their dollars away toward repaying student loans. That's from Timothy Hayes, a financial planner for Landmark Financial Advisory Services. He says preparation is key in keeping away from compounding debt.

"They really have to have the mindset upon graduation and starting their careers that some of what they are earning has to be dedicated to the loan,” Hayes says. “That's simply not available for other spending or savings at that point."