Student loan debt is erupting—more than 70 percent of America’s students borrow money to attend college, and the average student graduates from college owning nearly $30,000. Total student loan debt currently stands at a staggering $1.2 trillion, surpassing total credit card debt.
Are you one of the 40 million Americans affected by student debt? Whether you’re a student, a parent or an educator, please share your story. Make sure Congress and voters know what debt really looks like.
At a time when post-secondary education has become even more important, students and their families are scrambling to pay for that education. We jeopardize our future, as a nation and as a global competitor; if we do not help our future leaders realize their potential. We must ensure a college and post-secondary education is affordable and attainable.
Over the last 20 years, the cost of higher education has shifted dramatically from the state to the student, and the burden on students and their families is growing:
- When the Pell Grant program was first created, the maximum grant for the poorest students covered over 80 percent of the cost of a public four-year college. Today, it doesn’t even cover 40 percent.
- Average cost of tuition at a public college increased 4.8% this past year, following increases of 8.4% in 2011-12 and 8.0% in 2010-11, but median household income has fallen 8 percent since 2007.
- Even with the average debt skyrocketing, unemployment for young college graduates remained high at 8.8 percent in 2011.
- Unlike most forms of debt, student loan debt cannot be erased through bankruptcy.