Date of Award

Spring 5-5-2016

Degree Type



Moore School of Business

First Reader

Colin Jones

Second Reader

Mark Weadick


In a world of rapidly escalating amounts of student debt, the current system harms college stakeholders. Whether governments (state or federal), students, universities, or the economy, all parties are suffering in the current student debt market. At this point in time, student loans have become a sizeable debt vehicle second only to mortgage debt in the United States. A majority of students use loans to attend school, which often become a major decision in post-graduation plans. In addition, it is the only form of debt not dischargeable in bankruptcy. Due to this, an alarming amount of Americans have become ensnared in student loans – loans received with the goal of self-betterment in furthering one’s education.

This is also a problem that affects the US economy. Early homeownership or business creation have decreased, individuals have put off first time car purchasing, delayed having children, and even are struggling to save for retirement down the road. Due to the increased complexity of student loans over the years, many Americans do not understand their loans or how to repay them. The intricate web of debt collectors, debt servicers, the government, and education institutions has cornered the student and made it increasingly difficult to find out who stands to gain from the current system. Meanwhile, students have begun to question whether college is worth it in the first place. What has generally become a socially acceptable norm, a college education is being questioned for the first time in decades, yet the ever-evolving job market becomes more demanding of higher education.

In the midst of all this, responsibility is often placed on the students or the government, while the universities themselves are equally in need of criticism and change. Continued increases in tuition and other expenses, in addition to the various harms of for-profit colleges, have caused a headache for both the consumer and the lender.

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© 2016, Brian Alexander Kean