Debate over 'Pay It Forward' continues, Dynarski's suggested amendments receive increased attention

April 4, 2014

Susan Dynarski is quoted in a number of articles this month discussing 'Pay It Forward' legislation, now under consideration by more than a dozen states, which would tie student loan repayments to a percentage of income for a fixed number of years. The model, explains Dynarski in her February Brookings blog, is a disincentive to those who expect to make a higher income post-graduation. Why? Because they'll wind up paying more and subsidizing low earners.

"The latest, greatest idea for making a college education affordable sounds simple enough: Students can attend school for free. But there's a catch," writes David Jesse of the Detroit Free Press in "Pay It Forward: Plan Would Allow Michigan Students to Attend College for 'Free'".

Pay It Forward legislation is a sub-federal attempt to free students from recent congressional legislation that ties student loan interest rates to market performance, rather than earnings, suggests Jesse. The advantage to 'Pay It Forward'? It gives graduates more time to repay their loans, ties loan payments to earnings, and benefits, in particular, low-income earners. Jesse's article is a thoughtful and balanced overview of 'Pay It Forward' that has been picked up by a number of other publications including USA Today, Michigan Radio, and WZZM 13.

Other recent articles about Pay It Forward, and Dynarski's proposed amendments, include: