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Hillman discusses student loan debt and defaults in Wisconsin with WPR’s ‘Central Time’

October 21, 2016

UW-Madison’s Nicholas Hillman appeared on Wisconsin Public Radio’s “Central Time” program on Wednesday, Oct. 19 to discuss the topics of student loan debt and defaults in Wisconsin.

Recent U.S. Department of Education figures indicate that tuition and debt have jumped in recent years for students attending Wisconsin's technical colleges.

But Hillman explains how increased tuition isn't necessarily what leads to financial struggles for students who attend technical colleges. For instance, of the students who take out loans, many who don't repay them often owe less than $5,000. Hillman notes that research indicates many community college students who don't repay loans only enrolled in about a semester of courses. And dropping out of school without receiving a degree can be a problem.

Hillman is an associate professor with the School of Education's Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis, and a Wisconsin Center for the Advancement of Postsecondary Education (WISCAPE) faculty affiliate. He studies higher education finance and policy, and his research focuses on how policies affect educational access and success.

To learn much more about this nuanced, hot-button topic, make sure and listen to the entire interview with Hillman and host Kate Archer Kent at

Highlights from the interview were also reported in the Daily Cardinal.

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