How are social workers handling student debt?

The nation needs more social workers. But when they enter the profession, they’re staring at low salaries and mountains of student debt. How are they handling it?

Gideon Gil and I used the It Gets Smaller student loan tool to find out. First, we used the income planner tool to identify a profession where student loan payments are projected to make up a high percentage of a person’s income.

Then we used the second part of the tool, which generated suggested Reddit threads based on our search. The tool connected us to a hoppin’ Reddit forum for social workers. We posted a question asking for stories of how social workers are handling student loans. We got flooded with stories from around the country.

Read the stories here.

Gideon and I worked along with Léa Steinacker, Charles Kaioun, Melissa Clark and Luis Guillermo Natera Orozco on the student debt team, which created the Its Gets Smaller website.

Our hope in creating the website is not only to connect students to better loan information, but also to create a new way to seamlessly connect readers and journalists to social media and Reddit forums, where they can crowdsource advice and more information.

3 thoughts on “How are social workers handling student debt?

  1. Pingback: Student Debt Project Team: “It Gets Smaller” | Future of News and Participatory Media

  2. Pingback: Spring 2015 Final Projects | Future of News and Participatory Media

  3. A strong story, and a terrific example of how this reporting method could work on other topics. While I really like the calculator, I think the tool that helps reporters find individuals on Reddit and other boards is a real revolution in the space. Hope you’ll continue working on that idea, as I think it really has legs. As for this story, I think you’d have benefitted from returning to your voice after presenting the four stories – I think presenting those, then identifying common threads to examine would have been a really strong way forward.

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