Higher Ed, Not Debt is a multi-year campaign of dozens of organizations dedicated to tackling the debilitating and ever-growing issue of student loan debt in America. With over $1.6 trillion in outstanding educational debt, affecting more than 45 million Americans, we have united around a simple message and a clear objective: Higher Ed, Not Debt!
All people deserve equitable access to a high-quality education, regardless of race, class, gender, sexual orientation, immigration status, or any social identity. Unfortunately, the already unaffordable and still skyrocketing cost of higher education is risking our nation’s future. A college degree is required for most jobs that offer a liveable wage in America. Making higher education unaffordable and sustainable jobs inaccessible without a degree only further perpetuates the cycles of intergenerational poverty. The long‐term vision of this campaign is to ensure that quality higher education is affordable and accessible to all, without the burden of debt or financial hardship.
The work we do is based on four core principles:
- Providing support to borrowers currently paying off the existing $1.6 trillion of debt;
- Addressing the causes of declining affordability and quality, including changes to state funding and financial aid policies, and causes of inequity among borrowers;
- Educating the public about Wall Street’s complicity in the creation of the $1.6 trillion student debt crisis; and
- Civic engagement across all geographic, demographic, and political lines.
This campaign is a joint effort by a variety of organizations including labor groups, national and state-based nonprofits, veterans groups, progressive think tanks, civil rights groups, grassroots organizations, and you. Together, we can make this happen.
The time is now.