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Washington Post Op-Ed Emphasizes Reducing Risk Over Cost in Higher Ed

October 9, 2019

College can be a risky investment, a point Beth Akers, Manhattan Institute Senior Fellow, makes in her report, “Should College Come with a Money-Back Guarantee?”

In a recent Washington Post opinion piece, Akers makes the case for focusing on mitigating the financial risks associated with attending college, rather than reducing cost. Higher education is stuck in a cycle of tuition increases and rising student debt, she wrote, and something needs to change.

“The single-minded focus on cost often diverts attention from a more basic problem: risk – the possibility that a college graduate’s earnings will not be sufficient to enable loan repayment or, even more fundamentally, to justify the cost of enrollment, regardless of how the enrollment was paid for,” Akers writes in the paper.

The solution? Colleges and universities should seek innovative solutions to reduce the risk students make as they invest in their education.

“The benefits of education go far beyond the individual financial returns,” Akers writes in the opinion piece. “But the reality is that most students need a financial payoff from their college degrees.”

On the forefront of these innovative solutions are institutions such as Pacific Lutheran University in Washington and Newberry College in South Carolina. Each institution has offered students a promise in the form of a loan repayment assistance program (LRAP).

LRAPs help students repay their loans until they meet a specific income threshold. Both colleges partnered with Ardeo Education Solutions to offer a customized to their students.

LRAPs directly address risk by providing students with a safety-net after graduation that eases the fear of student loan debt.

More than 120 institutions have offered LRAPs to students across the country. Learn how LRAPs can help your institution today.