The New Indentured Class

President Bill Friday, 28 July 1977, From the NCC Photographic Archives. Black and White 120 Roll Film, 37875.

President Bill Friday, 28 July 1977, From the NCC Photographic Archives. Black and White 120 Roll Film, 37875.

In 1982, UNC System President Bill Friday wrote suggestions to give before the House Subcommittee on Postsecondary Education.  His suggestions were a response to President Reagan’s proposals to cut student financial aid. One of President Friday’s counterpoints to the proposed budget cuts follows.

“Transferring an increasing level of the cost of education from society to the current user of education services will create a new indentured class of individuals who may have borrowed more heavily for their education than their future earning power can accommodate.” 

President Friday's defense of his address to the subcommittee. From folder 1846, Box 50 of the Records of the Office of the President: William Friday, Collection 40009.

President Friday’s defense of his address to the subcommittee. From folder 1846, Box 50 of the Records of the Office of the President: William Friday, Collection 40009.

 

For many students, President Friday’s prediction of an indentured servitude may be becoming a reality. The Condition of Education 2013 was recently released by the Department of Education and the National Center for Education Statistics.  According to this report: “In 2010–11, the average student loan amount, in constant 2011–12 dollars, was $6,800, which was a 39 percent increase from 2000–01, when the average student loan amount was $4,900. Of the 4.1 million students who entered the repayment phase on their student loans in fiscal year (FY) 2010, some 375,000, or 9 percent, had defaulted before FY 2011.”  See the full report here.

What are your thoughts on student loans, student debt, and financial aid?

An exhibit on President Friday, “Bill Friday: In His Own Words,” will go on display in the Wilson Library on October 8th. The exhibit celebrates President Friday’s life of impact on the University, the State, and the Nation. You can also view an online exhibit The Legacy of William C. Friday in The Carolina Story: A Virtual Museum of University History.

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