June 11th, 2015
Lee Siegel, an author, sparked a heated discussion about student debt after writing about his decision to default deliberately on his loans. He did so, he wrote in a New York Times Op-Ed article, so that he could pursue his career as a writer without the financial burden of paying his loans, and he called on other borrowers to join him in order to press politicians to address rising college costs.
One obvious question is how typical Mr. Siegel is of today’s indebted students. Let’s look at some numbers:
He attended Columbia University, while the typical student attends a public, nonselective college. Seventy percent of undergraduates attend a public school, with more than a third of those enrolled in a community college.
Mr. Siegel earned a bachelor’s and two master’s degrees from Columbia, while nearly half of today’s college entrants leave with no degree at all.