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Hudson resident pens textbook on student debt

Nicholas Hartlep

Hudson resident Nicholas Hartlep decided to write his new book, "The Neoliberal Agenda and the Student Debt Crisis in U.S. Higher Education" for personal and professional reasons.

"Personally, because I do have some debt, as do many Americans," Hartlep said, "and professionally because of the alignment of the topic and my research area."

Hartlep said he hadn't found any other books that look at the problem of student debt from a neoliberal lens.

Neoliberalism is "in many respects, capitalism," Hartlep said.

The Encyclopedia Britannica defines Neoliberalism as an "ideology and policy model that emphasizes the value of free market competition."

Hartlep said the book has three parts.

The first part gives an overview of higher education financing. The second includes stories shared by individuals who are in debt themselves.

"The third part is looking for, given what we know, what should and can we do?" Hartlep said.

Hartlep edited the book with Lucille L.T. Eckrich and Brandon O. Hensley.

In addition to students, Hartlep said the book's target audience is also higher education professors and policymakers.

Hartlep has written or edited 17 books thus far.

Though this was his first on debt, he said he's written books that have critiqued neoliberalism and capitalism before. He's now looking to write another book on student debt.

Hartlep is an Assistant Professor of Urban Education at Metropolitan State University. He's lived in Hudson for about a year.

Gretta Stark

Gretta Stark has been a reporter for the River Falls Journal since July of 2013. She previously worked as a reporter for the New Richmond News from June 2012 to July 2013. She holds a BA in Print and Electronic Media from Wartburg College.

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