Report: MI student debt climbed during recession


A new report says the amount of student debt in Michigan rose sharply during the recent recession. The Michigan Public Radio Network's Peter Payette reports.

The price of tuition at state universities has been climbing steadily in recent years as the state has cut its budget for higher education. The executive director of the Center for Michigan, John Bebow, calls it a knowledge tax.

"We are saddling the young professionals we most want to attract to Michigan with years of debt," he says.

An analysis done by the center found that students at Michigan's public universities borrowed more than $1.8 billion in 2010. That's was a 49% increase compared to the amount of student loans taken out in 2007.

And Bebow says much of the increase was in unsubsidized loans at higher interest rates.

The numbers show that university students spent more borrowed money in 2010 than the State of Michigan will spend on higher education this year.