The insights of Robert Carr, Give Back founder and chairman, were featured on the Opinion page of the New York Times, drawing on his book, ‘Working Class to College: The Promise and Peril Facing Blue-Collar America‘ in response to an article about the complicated college financial aid process.


Paying for College | Nov. 6, 2017

To the editor:

Re “An Odd Couple Is Pushing for College Cost Clarity,” by Ron Lieber (Your Money column, Oct. 21):

The confusing language of college financial aid offers is especially overwhelming for first-generation and working-class students. The lack of transparency is a problem after admission as well, with little guidance to help students stay on track to complete a degree in four years.

Tens of millions of Americans have started college and taken out loans, but failed to graduate. The trap of debt-but-no-degree explains the seeming paradox that those with loans of $1,000 to $5,000 default at a rate of 34 percent, while those borrowing more than $100,000 default at a much lower rate of 18 percent.

Those who drop out lack the credentials for the higher-paying jobs needed to repay loans. Colleges must do a better job of explaining marketplace realities to their customers.


A version of this letter appeared in print on November 7, 2017, on Page A22 of the New York edition with the headline Paying for College.

To learn more about Robert Carr and his view on the education class divide in the U.S., check out his latest book ‘Working Class to College: The Promise and Peril Facing Blue-Collar America.’