Institutional News

Silver Speaks at BPC: "What Kind of America Do We Want to Build?"

Mariko Silver was one of four guests invited to speak at the Bipartisan Policy Center on rising costs and the higher education system.

Promoting Affordability and Accountability in the U.S. Higher Education System play video
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Promoting Affordability and Accountability in the U.S. Higher Education System

The discussion focused on how states, institutions of higher education, and the federal government can work to promote affordability and accountability.

The panel was comprised of Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC), President Sheila Bair of Washington College, the former Chair of the U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, President Mitch Daniels of Purdue University, formerly Governor of Indiana, and Dr. Mariko Silver. 

"We talk a lot in this country about wanting students and wanting people to take risks, calculated risks, smart risks, to create new things, to generate new ideas," Silver said. "We have to be thinking about, if that’s our goal, then we should work backwards from there, about what the financing system should look like, rather than always only starting with the question of either individual debt or fiscal policy. [When] we create incentives through the way that we distribute money, and the way that we make money available to people, what are we incentivizing? Not just on the financial side of things, but on the larger questions on what kind of economy do we want to build. Bennington is consistently ranked among the most entrepreneurial colleges because our students go out and start things. We want students go out and start things that may also mean, by the way, that their income in their first year out of college is not the same as if would be if they were working for a bank. But we want students to go out and start things, and so we need to be thinking about all those factors and it really is, when we zero in on these student debt questions they are not just student debt questions and they are not just cost of college questions, they really are questions about what kind of economy we want to structure and what kind of America we want to build."

The Bipartisan Policy Center, founded in 2007, is a non-profit organization that combines the best ideas from both parties to promote health, security, and opportunity for all Americans.