My name is Casey Rock, and I'm a resident of Burlington, Vermont. I read an article today about how Oregon is trying to adopt a higher education repayment system that is income-based as opposed to loan-based: Instead of taking out college loans from banks that have crippling interest rates, Oregon's idea, based on the Australian system of higher education repayment, will require zero loans; instead, college graduates will pay the institutions 3 percent of their income over the next 24 years.
The article I read can be found here: http://www.politicususa.com/2013/07/08/oregon-passes-law-eliminate-college-tuition-student-debt.html
As a recent college graduate, I feel the financial strain that these loans cause. I got pretty lucky - as an in-state student with multiple scholarships, I got my Bachelor's Degree from the University of Vermont and only have $25,000 to pay back. However, being fortunate to only have $25,000 of debt after my college education seems absurdly onerous. One of my college roommates is well over $100,000 in debt after only six semesters of school - he's got another year to go to get his degree, and has had to switch to being a part-time student in order to start paying off his loans.
Under the new system that Oregon has adopted, it will take some time for the investment to become self-funding. However, I think that investing in education is one of the best investments that a government can make; when students have to take out high-interest loans that cripple them financially for the foreseeable future, forcing them to work long hours while trying to get their degree, there is something wrong with the higher education system and the banks that give out these loans, and the government has a responsibility, I think, to assist these people who are seeking higher education.
I'm creating this petition to see if a more sustainable option for higher education payment was possible.
Thanks very much for reading. Have a great day!