SJ Quinney College of Law, University of Utah
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Abstract

At over $1 trillion, with more than 8 million borrowers in default, the federal student loan program is in trouble. There is no question that policymakers will do their best to fix it in the coming years. The only question is whether they will have the evidence they need to make informed judgments about what ails our student loan program, and what can cure it.

In the coming years, advocates, policymakers, and researchers should focus on gathering data and information on all possible causes of the failures in the student loan program. As the previous Part describes, the public has a number of tools at its disposal to procure more data and information. Individual organizations may, of course, use these tools on their own, but there are compelling reasons to think more broadly.

By pooling their capacity to make requests and sharing the results, advocates and researchers can move toward a broader base of information for the entire higher education policy field. A collective effort toward improved information on the student loan program might include a narrow set of “research” questions—or areas of inquiry—that organizations will pursue together, and an independent repository that stores the results of these inquiries in an easily searchable format.

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