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Jamestown College President Joins Senator in Student Debt Discussion
VALLEY CITY – Jamestown College President Bob Badal and Mayville State University President Gary Hagen joined Valley City State University President Steve Shirley in Valley City on Thursday as U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp discussed the challenges created by heavy student debt loads.

Heitkamp’s remarks included her support for the Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act of 20013 which lowered interest rates for students, locked in a student loan rate for the life of the loan and capped future interest rates. She also expressed concern over the increasing need for private loans to meet the rising costs for a college degree.

The three college presidents spoke on what Shirley called the “incredibly complex topic” of the costs and financing of higher education.

Badal called for a balanced approach from lawmakers when it comes to their treatment of for-profit colleges and the traditional non-profits. Badal is also concerned that young people are getting the impression that economic booms, such as North Dakota’s oil industry, mean there’s no need for college or taking on the debt; one simply leaves high school and gets a job.

Hagan said his impression is that many students feel a high sense of entitlement, that much is somehow owed to them, and they focus their spending on such things as cell phones, cars and entertainment.