The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) is arguably the biggest policy intervention in health insurance in the United States since the passage of Medicaid and Medicare in 1965. The Act was signed into law in March 2010, and by 2016 approximately 20 to 24 million additional Americans were covered with health insurance. Such an extension of insurance coverage could affect not only medical bills, but also educational, employment, and broader financial outcomes. In this post, we take an initial look at the relationship between the ACA and higher education financing choices and outcomes. We find evidence that expansions in healthcare coverage may influence both the prevalence of student loans and loan repayment behavior. The evidence suggests that individuals covered by ACA-related expansions are taking out slightly more loans and taking a longer time to start repayment.
This is the final post in a four-part series examining the evolution of enrollment, student loans, graduation and default in the higher education market over the course of the past fifteen years.
In the first post in this series, we characterized the rapid transformation of the higher education market over the 2000-2015 period, a transformation that was led by explosive growth of the for-profit sector of higher education.
The higher education landscape changed drastically over the last decade and a half. This evolution was largely characterized by the unprecedented growth of the private for-profit sector.
The past decade and a half has seen dramatic changes in the higher education landscape, characterized by significant growth in enrollment.
Stories abound about recent college graduates who are struggling to find good jobs in today’s economy, especially with student debt levels rising so quickly.
Policymakers are increasingly viewing colleges and universities as important engines of growth for their local areas.