Game of Loans

Game of Loans Book Cover Game of Loans
Beth Akers & Matthew M. Chingos
Education
2016
200

College tuition fees and high levels of student debt in the United States is a growing concern for many and even news of this has spread around the world. It is by no means a problem exclusive to the U.S., yet it does seem to set a gold standard for fees and debt, in part due to its size but maybe also due to structural and other issues.
So this was a fascinating, informative and timely book that looks at the entire problem of tuition fees and student debt levels from a U.S. perspective, without becoming politically partisan or shouty in the process.
Concerns exist about a future student debt crisis and mass default, yet the authors believe that this is unfounded, admitting at the same time that other problems do exist such as a “dysfunctional market” where competition among colleges drives tuition costs up instead of down and how students load up with debt but don’t complete their studies for various reasons.
A number of policy proposals are given that the authors believe could solve the issues around student lending. Some of the reforms might not be earth-shattering but require a change in current-day thinking and a slightly more hands-on, proactive approach that might chide against perceived all-American freedoms and rights.
There is a lot of detail, at times it can feel a little too overwhelming, as well as a mass of references and further reading suggestions. Nonetheless it was a great diversion for a curious generalist with one foot in the (non U.S.) educational camp. For someone who has more skin in the game it could be necessary reading. It is a lot more than just a narrowly focussed education/politics-type book; it covers economics, the media, society and much more!