The number of words written on Tuesday about the Brookings Institution study on student loan debtors might surpass the number of dollars that the median student loan borrower still owes: about 13,000. It may have been a stealth full-employment plan for business/policy journalists/opinionators.
Here is everything the internet wrote on June 24 about whether student debt is as bad as you think it is:
- The Brookings study on student loan debtors finds that the burden of student loan repayment (for some households, at least) is no worse than it was in the past.
- David Leonhardt writes up the study at The Upshot, part of The New York Times. (The story also appeared on A3 of the print edition.)
- Max Ehrenfreund at the Washington Post's Wonkblog also gives the study a fairly straightforward writeup, as did The Boston Globe, as did Marketplace.
- Choire Sicha at The Awl argued that the study is terrible, in part because its methodology oversamples the wealthy and that the households are not representative.
- Quartz's Matt Phillips explains why readers of The Awl don't want to hear that student debt isn't a problem.
- Peter Coy at Businessweek compares and contrasts Leonhardt's piece with Adam Davidson's New York Times magazine cover last weekend.
- Slate's Jordan Weissmann looks at the study's two main points and how they relate to Sicha's critique.
- At The New Republic, Mike Konczal argues that the real consequences of debt show up in the long run, not in monthly payments.
- Demos's Mark Huelsman argues that anecdotes can be overblown without invalidating the huge issue of student debt.
- Frederik deBoer critiques Sicha's critique with more information on research methodology. (The post is more interesting than my summary makes it sound.)
- The Atlantic's Derek Thompson zigs where others zag and writes about the return on investment in a college degree.
- As always, The Toast's Mallory Ortberg has a fantastic take.
Are Millennials Really Climbing Back In The Womb To Avoid Student Debt In Greater Numbers Than Previous Generations?— Mallory Ortberg (@mallelis) June 25, 2014
Full disclosure, since this is clearly a contentious topic: Matthew Chingos, a co-author of the Brookings study, lent me a turkey pan at Thanksgiving despite mostly knowing me from higher ed policy Twitter. Unfortunately, I keep forgetting to return it, so if anything, he is beholden to me and not the other way around.