There were probably some passengers on the Titanic who were convinced it wouldn’t sink.

Campus Reform reports.

Former college presidents blast alleged college debt ‘myth’

Two former college presidents are fighting the “myth” of college debt and its alleged solution of free tuition, placing the blame on the student dropout rate instead.

Dr. William G. Bowen and Dr. Michael S. McPherson call the student debt crisis “overblown” and that increasing college tuition costs are a result of students failing to complete their degrees rather than unfair tuition practices.

Bowen, president emeritus of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, served as Princeton University’s president from 1972-1988. McPherson was the president of Macalester College for seven years and currently serves as the president of the Spencer Foundation.

In their co-written article on Vox, Bowen and McPherson place the blame on politicians, pundits, and journalists for creating a widely-hyped and “persistent panic” about a mounting debt crisis.

While both presidents acknowledge that current higher education has many faults, they agree it is hardly the “disaster area” that journalists and politicians purport it to be.

“Panic is rarely a desirable state of mind either for identifying or solving problems,” they wrote in their article.

Despite some inflammatory rhetoric to the contrary, Bowen and McPherson note that 40 percent of students have no debt when they graduate from public colleges. Even the majority of students who do take out six-figure loans do so to pay for graduate school or to earn degrees in high-earning fields, such as medicine or law. In contrast, for the 60 percent of students who do take out loans, the average amount after graduation is just $25,500.

In fact, a case study by the Treasury Department revealed that college dropouts are increasingly more likely to accrue large amounts of debt, both in college and out. These dropouts, many of whom have “little enthusiasm for repaying what they owe,” are three times as likely to default on loans as college graduates, resulting in skewed student debt numbers.