Oregon's 'Pay It Forward' Plan on Student Loans Could Become 'Pay It Yourself'

Oregon's Pay It Forward Plan on Student Loans Could Become Pay It Yourself 1

Rick Bowmer, AP Images

A proposal by students at Portland State U. (pictured) has drawn enthusiasm in Oregon and at least four other states. But a close look at the plan suggests it could lead to an even greater shifting of college costs from states to students if the trend of declining state support continues at the pace of the past decade.

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close Oregon's Pay It Forward Plan on Student Loans Could Become Pay It Yourself 1

Rick Bowmer, AP Images

A proposal by students at Portland State U. (pictured) has drawn enthusiasm in Oregon and at least four other states. But a close look at the plan suggests it could lead to an even greater shifting of college costs from states to students if the trend of declining state support continues at the pace of the past decade.

It's not surprising that a group of students would come up with a plan to try to eliminate the need for student loans. Some state legislators across the country have quickly embraced the concept, but without thoroughly examining the proposal, which could end up costing many students more money than they are currently paying for their loans—or even more than their total tuition.

That's just one of several potential challenges facing the idea, which was proposed in December by