International Policy Center Home Page
Type: Public event

Is there a student debt crisis? A discussion with Rohit Chopra and Susan Dynarski

Date & time

Jan 27, 2016, 4:00-5:30 pm EST


Weill Hall, Annenberg Auditorium
735 South State Street Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Free and open to the public.

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About the Topic:

The Education Policy Initiative and the School of Education welcome Rohit Chopra and Susan Dynarski, two leading voices on student debt reform, to discuss the repercussions of the $1.3 trillion dollar student loan deficit on higher education and economic inequality. They will examine the role of the student loan industry, financial aid policies, for-profit institutions, and rising tuition fees in creating and proliferating this crisis. They will offer policy solutions and industry reforms that protect student borrowers and preserve affordable higher education. Following the presentations, we invite the audience to participate in a question and answer session with the presenters. 

About the Speakers:

Rohit Chopra recently joined the U.S. Department of Education as a senior advisor, where he will work directly for Under Secretary Ted Mitchell. Prior to this position, Chopra worked to establish the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and was named by the secretary of the Treasury as the agency’s first student loan ombudsman. As the agency’s assistant director, he led efforts to address misconduct by private student lenders, student loan servicers, student loan debt collectors and for-profit colleges. He has frequently testified before Congress about the need to mitigate the potential negative impacts on the economy of heavy student debt burdens, as well as the need to reform the student loan servicing industry to reduce unnecessary defaults. Chopra more recently was a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress (CAP), a progressive public policy research and advocacy institute.

Susan Dynarski is a professor of education, public policy, and economics at the University of Michigan and is the co-director of the Education Policy Initiative at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. Dynarski’s research focuses on the impact of grants and loans on college attendance; the distributional aspects of college savings incentives; and the costs and benefits of simplifying the financial aid system. Dynarski has testified about education and tax policy before the US Senate Finance Committee, the US House Ways and Means Committee and the President's Commission on Tax Reform. She is also a columnist for the New York Times The Upshot, where she frequently writes about student debt and financial aid policy reform, and a senior nonresident fellow at the Brookings Institution.