Financial aid based on loans is an unjust system

The student loan program is a failed attempt to bring opportunity to students and access to higher education. Deirdre Fernandes’s article “Report faults Mass. on student debt” (Page A1, March 1) shows that this is especially true for Massachusetts, where students attending public universities are borrowing similar amounts as those going to private schools. We need to recognize that a financial aid system based on loans is fundamentally unjust. The risks are higher for students coming from disadvantageous background, and the burden is disproportionately higher for low-income households. If we want higher education to be a path for social mobility, it is time that we seriously question our loan-based financial aid system and redesign a better, more just, and fair system.

Bob Hildreth

Founder and President

Hildreth Institute


Hildreth Institute is a nonprofit advocating college affordability.