A National Plan on College Debt

Apparently September is National College Savings Month. Nice to know that someone is working on this, right?

Well not really. Despite the fact that this September designation is as a result of a Congressional resolution (“the Congress supports the goals and ideals of College Savings Month”) national college savings apparently refers to citizens making personal savings for college.

Gigantic student loan corporation Sallie Mae, which surely knows a great deal about how little America saves for college, has its own plans for this month.

According to a press release by the corporation:

Sallie Mae… encourages parents, grandparents and students to call a family savings summit during National College Savings Month this September. The company suggests dedicating time as a family to discuss educational goals and financial plans.

“College ranks among the most significant financial decisions a family will make, often second only to the purchase of a home,” says Jeff Howkins… “The good news is that saving even a small amount regularly can add up over time and enable any student to head to campus with at least a portion of the total cost saved in advance. The best action families can take now is to set aside time to openly discuss school choices, understand future costs and create a realistic financial plan.”

Grandparents? Well that’s awfully presumptuous of the company. This is especially true since that generation was able to attend college for dramatically less money. Back then it was very unusual for anyone to take on crippling student loans to obtain postsecondary education.

Given that this is college savings month, maybe now is a good time to encourage the United States of America to set a savings strategy for higher education. Why the assumption that higher education savings are a purely personal affair?

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer