Oregon’s “Pay It Forward” Plan Is Making Its Way through the U.S. House


This past year, the Oregon state legislature passed into law the “Pay It Forward, Pay It Back” plan intended to lessen the burden of student debt. The plan calls for the tuition of college students who would otherwise have had to take out student loans to be covered out of a designated state fund. The seed revenue for the fund has to be provided by the state, but once participating students graduate and become employed, they will pay a percentage of their salaries back into the fund to sustain it. Specifically, “students who attended a state university would pay no more than 5 percent of their annual income, regional colleges 3.5 percent, and community and technical colleges no more than 2 percent. Repayment could continue for up to 25 years.” (News Tribune, Tacoma, Washington, 10 Feb. 2014).

The proponents of this plan have clearly been very well-intentioned in…

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