Student debt is a function of three factors: the cost of higher education, the extent to which that cost is subsidized through sources other than students and their families, and the percentage of nonsubsidized revenue that is supplied via loans rather than out-of-pocket payments.
The first factor is a product of how much money colleges and universities choose to spend. The second is determined by total value of the many sources of subsidization upon which higher education draws. The third is a function of the relative wealth or poverty of the people who make up the student bodies at American higher education institutions.
This Article will focus on the first two factors, while addressing the increasingly common claim that, in recent years, higher education in America has been “defunded.”
"The Economics of American Higher Education in the New Gilded Age,"
Utah Law Review: Vol. 2018:
4, Article 3.
Available at: https://dc.law.utah.edu/ulr/vol2018/iss4/3