The idea of widespread federal-student-loan cancellation continues to gain momentum. But with few details available, colleges are struggling to explain to current students what debt forgiveness could mean.
Meanwhile, some advocates remain concerned that the national discussion has not included ways to solve student debt on a more structural level for future students and borrowers.
The Class of 2022 didn’t have a typical high school experience. Many struggled emotionally and academically during distance learning, often failing to turn in assignments or turn on their cameras during classes.
But others emerged stronger than ever, using their time alone to take college courses or to cultivate new hobbies and interests. Some turned those interests into profitable businesses.
Freshly minted college graduates like Kammarie Pelland are entering a job market that's eager to have them. U.S. employers are planning to hire 31.6 percent more college grads this year compared to 2021, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers.
And because of the high demand for workers, these new employees from the Class of 2022 can afford to make some demands of their own.
Jamel Turner, who is Black and from Memphis, dropped out of college for financial reasons. He's not alone. Six-year graduation rates for Black males are at least 20 percentage points below that of their peers.
Last year, Tennessee developed the Black Male Success Initiative to help more Black males graduate from college. While improvements won’t happen overnight, leaders are hopeful the initiative can spark meaningful change.
Ann McElaney-Johnson of Mount Saint Mary’s University in Los Angeles reflects on what the pandemic has taught her about students’ basic needs—and the obligations of the institution she leads to help meet them.