Take Two®

News and culture through the lens of Southern California. Hosted by A Martínez

Oregon's innovative plan to eliminate student loan debt

by Take Two®

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Students protest the rising costs of student loans for higher education on Hollywood Boulevard on September 22, 2012 in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles, California. David McNew/Getty Images

Earlier this week advocates for students of higher education lamented Congress's inability to halt a rise on student loan rates. The rates for federally subsidized Stafford student loans rose from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent.

Maybe federal lawmakers should look west of D.C. to Oregon for some inspiration.

The same day of the loan rate increase, the state's legislature approved an unusual bill that could eliminate the need for student loans.

The bill is called "Pay It Forward, Pay It Back," and it would eliminate tuition, instead allowing students to pay a percentage of their future income into a special education fund.

But how it arrived on the state floor is almost as interesting as the concept itself, as it was part of a college class on the economics and policy concerns of student loan debt. Dr. Mary C. King is a professor of economics at Portland State University, and joins the show to talk about the plan. 

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