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Indentured Students: How Government-Guaranteed Loans Left Generations Drowning in College Debt

Why do 45 million Americans owe more than $1.7 trillion in student debt? Many assume the student debt crisis is the unintended consequences of federal loan programs crafted with the best of intentions. But speaker Elizabeth Tandy Shermer shows that Democrats and Republicans intentionally wanted to create a student loan industry instead of generously funding colleges and universities, which eventually left millions of Americans drowning in student debt.

Date & Time

Monday
Oct. 4, 2021
4:00pm – 5:30pm ET

Location

Zoom Webinar

Overview

Because of the Facebook outage, we are unable to bring you a live stream of today's session. A recording of the event will be available shortly, we apologize for the inconvenience.

Why do 45 million Americans owe more than $1.7 trillion in student debt? Many assume the student debt crisis is the unintended consequences of federal loan programs crafted with the best of intentions. But speaker Elizabeth Tandy Shermer shows that Democrats and Republicans intentionally wanted to create a student loan industry instead of generously funding colleges and universities, which eventually left millions of Americans drowning in student debt.

Elizabeth Tandy Shermer is a Loyola University Chicago associate professor of history who specializes in the history of capitalism, labor, politics, and policy. She finished her PhD at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Since then, her research has been published in op-eds, academic articles, and scholarly books, including Sunbelt Capitalism (2013) and The Right and Labor, a 2012 edited collection done with Nelson Lichtenstein. Harvard University Press published her history of student lending, Indentured Students, in August 2021. 

The Washington History Seminar is co-chaired by Eric Arnesen (George Washington University and the National History Center) and Christian Ostermann (Woodrow Wilson Center) and is organized jointly by the National History Center of the American Historical Association and the Woodrow Wilson Center's History and Public Policy Program. It meets weekly during the academic year. The seminar thanks its anonymous individual donors and institutional partners (the George Washington University History Department and the Lepage Center for History in the Public Interest) for their continued support.


Hosted By

History and Public Policy Program

The History and Public Policy Program makes public the primary source record of 20th and 21st century international history from repositories around the world, facilitates scholarship based on those records, and uses these materials to provide context for classroom, public, and policy debates on global affairs.  Read more

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