Temple Professor Discusses College Debt on The Daily Show

Professor Sarah Goldbrick-Rob with Trevor Noah.
Professor Sarah Goldbrick-Rob with Trevor Noah.

Sara Goldbrick-Rab, a Higher Education Policy and Sociology professor at Temple University, sat down with The Daily Show host Trevor Noah on Tuesday night to discuss her new book, Paying the Price.

Over the course of six years Goldbrick-Rab and her research team followed and interviewed over three-thousand young adults who were enrolled in public colleges and universities. The team wanted to uncover why so many college students continue to be in debt despite the governmental systems that provide financial aid to students.

“I wanted to understand at a time where college is more expensive than ever and frankly work doesn’t pay like it used to…how do students get though college and how do they make ends meet?” said Goldbrick-Rab.

Although the issue of college debt is widespread, after reading Paying the Price Noah said that he was most surprised by the lack of ability of students to access food during their college years. Goldbrick-Rab said that her research team found that out of the ten community colleges that they observed thirteen percent of community college students they spoke to were homeless.

“Studies are not supposed to break your heart, and this sort of did,” said Goldbrick-Rab.

Noah commended Paying the Price for not only identifying the issues that exist within the world of higher education but also providing solutions that can help the country help college students. When asked what she thought the most realistic solution to the college debt issue was, Goldbrick-Rab said that extending food programs would greatly help students.

“We know how to give people food so they can go to school, it’s called the National School Lunch Program and we have had it in place for a very long time for school children,” said Goldbrick-Rab, “What we need to do is expand the National School Lunch program into higher education.”

At the end of the interview, Noah took the opportunity to ask about the presidential election and which of the two candidates has a viable plan to help college students who are struggling with debt. Goldbrick-Rab said that Hillary Clinton recognizes that the country needs to do something totally new in the way that they handle college debt.

“Hillary Clinton recognizes that there is a ton of pain out there and isn’t limited to low income people,” said Goldbrick-Rab, “The middle class is also being priced out of higher education and the current financial aid system is not helping.”

If you happened to miss Goldbrick-Rab’s interview, check it out here for yourself.


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