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The problem in Bay State is so serious that Attorney General Maura Healy created a student loan ombudsman position in her office last month.


At this point, it would be a cliché to note that returning and new college students are poised to invade Allston in September.

Less attention is paid to how much de facto universities invade areas.

Harvard, for example, spent the summer refining plans to further upgrade lower Alston with what it calls an Enterprise Research Campus. After a series of meetings with the Harvard-Allston working group, development company Tishman Speyer and Harvard are now awaiting final approval from the city.

The project will include a hotel, convention center, laboratory facilities and 345 housing units along Western Avenue, across the street from Harvard Business School.

The Harvard definition of “affordable” means that 51 houses will be provided to households that make up 70% of the median income in the part of the city where this figure reaches $ 59,200 per family of one. Seven more apartments labeled “affordable” will go to tenants who receive 100% of the median income of $ 84,600. Let it sink.

The City of Boston’s inclusive development policy requires that about 13% of apartments in a proposed development be set aside as “affordable”. The technical design is 58 units, which exceeds this requirement by 17%. A Harvard presentation at a recent meeting in front of the Allston-Harvard Task Force repeatedly mentioned this fact, although the project developer stated in the presentation that a reduction in the tenant’s income limit could “force” them to reduce the total number of apartments available.

Despite the additional apartments, housing advocates and Alston locals continue to express concern that the vague definition of “affordable” means that most new apartments will remain out of reach for many needy Alston residents. Imagine that affordable housing isn’t Harvard’s top priority.


Students across the state are either preparing to study or are already aware of the heavy burden of student loans.

More than 1 million Massachusetts residents have outstanding student debt, with the average outstanding student debt averaging about $ 32,000 per person. According to Student Loan Hero, who compiled statistics using data from the US Department of Education, My LendingTree reports, My LendingTree, Equifax and US Federal Reserve Bank credit reports as of 2020 by the New York City Consumer Lending Group. These numbers are from mid-2020, so they don’t fully show how the pandemic has compounded debt.

A recent survey by GBH found that most public universities in Massachusetts have used COVID-19 relief funds to pay recently unpaid student bills due to concerns that rising tuition fees and the economic burden of the pandemic are driving down enrollment.

The problem in Bay State is so serious that Attorney General Maura Healy created a student loan ombudsman position in her office last month. The oversight role will be responsible for handling student complaints and monitoring debt servants to reduce predatory behavior. The creation of the post was part of the Student Loan Borrower Bill of Rights, which was signed earlier this year.

State Senator Eric Lesser and Rep. Natalie Higgins co-sponsored the bill.

“Nearly a million people in Massachusetts collectively owe more than $ 40 billion in student loans and still have not benefited from adequate state consumer protection for one of the biggest financial investments of their lives,” Lesser said in a statement to the media. …


The high cost of higher education is a national epidemic far beyond Massachusetts.

About two-thirds of all college students in the country borrow at least part of the money needed to attend school, averaging about $ 39,000 in debt per person. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, total student loan debt in the country exceeded $ 1.7 billion in 2021.

Conservatives, especially those who oppose any form of loan forgiveness, often blame the debt problem on students who frivolously waste time pursuing “useless” degrees.

But in reality, the problem may lie in the poor spending of money-hungry universities themselves, according to a new report from the American Board of Trustees and Alumni.

The study, published Aug. 17, found that the overall increase in hospital admissions over the past decade was 20%. Since 1990, this growth has been 178%. Overall, the report found that colleges used this additional income primarily for administrative and student services rather than tuition.

While schools have risen in price, the percentage of their graduates in the last 10 years has increased by only 7% for public institutions and 4% for private colleges.

“This report illustrates the implications for students – both financially and academically – of sustained increases in spending since the Great Recession. We hope that public awareness of the impact of this trend on finances and student performance will lead to smarter choices, ”said ACTA President Michael Poliakoff.

More broadly, the report explains how the student debt crisis in the country requires more than loan forgiveness to stave off economic collapse.


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