Montana State University

Free lecture on challenges to student loan programs set Feb. 13 at MSU

January 21, 2014 -- MSU News Service

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MSU News Service
Tel: (406) 994-4571

BOZEMAN – A free public lecture about the challenges facing student loan programs will be given at 4 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 13, in 125 Linfield Hall at Montana State University.

Lance Lochner, a professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Western Ontario in Ontario, Canada, will present "Re-Designing Student Loan Programs: A Difficult Balancing Act."

Governments and individuals spend considerable and growing sums on higher education, and the way these investments are financed has important implications for social mobility, the distribution of income and economic growth, Lochner says.

His lecture will focus on family financing and the role of student loans. Major changes in North American labor markets and education sectors have prompted a re-evaluation of student loan policies. Two seemingly contradictory patterns have emerged in recent years. On the one hand, more students appear to face limited resources and credit, restricting their higher education choices. On the other hand, many students appear to leave college with very high debt levels that are difficult to re-pay. Lochner will discuss these two growing challenges and their implications for the optimal design of student loan policies.

Lochner is a labor economist with specific interests in the economics of education and the economics of crime. His research has appeared in leading economics journals such as the "Canadian Journal of Economics," "International Economic Review" and "American Economic Review." He also holds an editorial position with the "Journal of Labor Economics" and an associate editorial position with the "Journal of Applied Econometrics."

Lochner’s lecture is sponsored by the Department of Agricultural Economics and Economics, and is presented by the College of Letters and Science's Distinguished Speakers Series. The series, which began in the spring of 2011, brings distinguished scholars to MSU to give a public talk and to meet with faculty and students to enrich the intellectual life on campus and enhance research connections.

For more information about this and other L&S Distinguished Speakers Series lectures, go to or call 994-3701. 

Evelyn Boswell, (406) 994-5135 or