This is a good piece, but there are at least glaring omissions here, and also one MAJOR misrepresentation of fact.
Bankruptcy protection isn't the only consumer protection that has been stripped away from student loans. Statutes of limitations have also been stripped from federal student loans, as well as Fair Debt Collection Practice laws, Truth in Lending laws, and refinancing rights. State usury laws are also not applicable to federal student loans.
The federal government isn't just making money in interest on the student loan program. They are also PROFITING ON DEFAULTED STUDENT LOANS!!! This has been happening for many years, and is easily proven by simply examination of the White House Budget going back over a decade! THIS IS A DEFINING HALLMARK OF A PREDATORY LENDING SYSTEM. See the related article on the main page of the Student Loan Justice website.
The University of Wisconsin, despite their tales of woe, was found to have stockpiled something like $600 million during the same time period that they were "crying poor", and jacking tuition through the roof. This is not an isolated instance. In fact, nearly ALL of the colleges and universities have been engaging in the same kind of cash hoarding, particularly since about 2008...and this is OVER AND ABOVE their endowments! By my best estimate, the colleges have, collectively managed to stockpile as much or more cash the the value of all college endowments combined ($430 billion). I urge the CIJ to look very closely at this phenomenon. It is a critically important phenomenon that cries out for much more investigation so that we can understand exactly how much cash the colleges are sitting on. Again, this is described at the Student Loan Justice website.
Misrepresentation of FACT:
The states funding of higher education has increased, year over year, roughly with the rate of inflation. But for a slight downturn during the financial crisis, state funding of higher education has INCREASED.
The colleges are citing the fact that the percentage share of state funding has decreased, and calling this a "cut". This is self-serving, ridiculous NONSENSE, and the colleges should be ASHAMED OF THEMSELVES for perpetuating it. But for the fact that the colleges are jacking their prices through the roof, the increasing money that the states are giving them every year would keep their percentage share of involvement the same. This is one of the biggest lies being perpetuated by the Academy, and journalists everywhere should not fall for it.
I hope that interested people everywhere, and particularly investigative journalists, will come to The Student Loan Justice website and see the research that we have done, and the stuff (much of it astonishing) that we have found.
ps. The removal of bankruptcy and other consumer protections lie at the core of this issue. Bankruptcy (at a minimum) absolutely must be restored immediately, or else the entire lending system will be rejected entirely by the citizenry, and student loans will evaporate into a mist of illegitimacy and be smashed by waves of largescale social unrest (likely).