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FROM THIS EPISODE

The rising cost of college is forcing students and parents to borrow whatever they can afford and sometimes even more. Does higher education have to create an unsustainable burden? Can students learn what they need without a lifetime of debt? Also, the latest jobs report suggests a long slog, and the Gulf oil claims process is agonizingly slow. Now BP says an act of Congress might prevent it from paying the bills.

Banner image: Students attend 2010 commencement at Vassar College on May 23, 2010 in Poughkeepsie, New York. Photo: Andy Kropa/Getty Images

Debt-Free U

Zac Bissonnette

Producers:
Andrea Brody
Katie Cooper
Darrell Satzman

Reporter's Notebook BP Say Gulf Drilling Ban Could Prevent It from Paying Claims 5 MIN, 56 SEC

Congress is considering legislation that would ban new offshore drilling permits for the company most responsible for this summer's oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The New York Times reports today that BP is warning Congress that such an action would imperil both its promised pay-outs to spill victims and its ambitious plans for Gulf Coast restoration. Andrew Restuccia is following the story for the Washington Independent.

Guests:
Andrew Restuccia, Politico (@AndrewRestuccia)

Main Topic Is College Really Worth the Price of Admission? 37 MIN, 15 SEC

As senior year begins, high school students already are trying to decide what college they want to get into. Both they and their parents are wondering if higher education will mean a lifetime of debt. College tuition is going up faster than medical costs and outstanding student loans have surpassed total credit-card debt. But regardless of what parents have been led to believe, they may be borrowing more than they need to, especially to get to the "right" college. Do big-name schools provide the biggest bang for the buck in teaching or in getting that first job? Once they're in, do students use the available resources? Do colleges have to be so expensive? Will too much debt spoil the benefits of higher education? 

Guests:
Jenna Johnson, Educaton Reporter, Washington Post
Zac Bissonnette, Senior, University of Massachusetts-Amherst
Brett Lief, President, National Council of Higher Education Loan Programs
Chris Newfield, Past Chair, UC's Academic Senate Committee for Planning and Budget

Making News Jobs Report Suggests Long Slog 7 MIN, 47 SEC

Total employment declined last month with a net loss of 54,000 jobs. But that's because governments laid off 121,000. Private employment increased by 67,000. This morning, President Obama tried to make the best of it.  David Leonhardt is economics columnist for the New York Times and staff writer at the New York Times magazine.

Guests:
David Leonhardt, New York Times (@DLeonhardt)

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