Why Bill Clinton Should Reconsider Speaking at NYU's Commencement


On Tuesday, New York University announced that former President Bill Clinton will be speaking at the university's commencement, which will be held on May 18 at Yankee Stadium.

I wish Bill Clinton would reconsider. NYU students have among the largest debt loads in the country. The university has simply not lived up to its responsibility to leave its graduates better prepared for a good life than when they started.

NYU's decades of soaring debt loads recently culminated in a student protest at the campus. In a country where an ever-increasing number of college grads are finding their life courses irretrievably altered by crushing debt loads -- and where default rates on federal student loans are running at over 20% -- Clinton should not be bestowing his endorsement on a college that is arguably a bigger part of the problem than any other college in America.

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Here's an idea: Instead, Bill Clinton should lend his credibility to a college that has left its grads with a small fraction of the debt loads borne by NYU grads -- CUNY-Baruch. Only 37% of that college's grads borrow for college, compared with a national average of about two-thirds. And the average debt load is $14,676.

Speak at CUNY, Mr. Clinton. Let America know that students who do the smart thing and attend an affordable college are just as worthy of your time as anyone else.

Originally published