An estimated 20 million Americans attend college each year, and 60% of those students borrow annually to pay for it (qtd. in asa.org, “Student Loan Debt Statistics”). Moreover, citizens continuing to pay off debt after schooling brings the overall number of student-loan-borrowers to about 40 million- with a collective 1 trillion dollars in debt (McCarthy, “10 Fun Facts About the Student Debt Crisis); a fourth of these borrowers owe over $28,000, a tenth owe over $54,000, 3.1% owe more than $100,000, “and 0.45 percent of borrowers, or 167,000 people, owe more than $200,000” (Haughwout, “Grading Student Loans”). While some view this predicament as the result of laziness or carelessness, the bulk of this substantial group are not at fault. Low wage jobs, underemployment, and high unemployment rates have forced individuals striving for 'the American dream', upward class mobility, and a greater education to choose indebtedness, often at prices they can not and will not be able to afford. The vast amount of borrowed money is not only damaging the lives, productivity, and standard of living of individuals, but also the economy, and needs to be resolved.
With society's stress on the necessity to obtain a college education in order to get a well-paying job, be considered successful, and have a higher quality of life, everyone desires a degree and many try for one. However, the typical middle-class family cannot afford to attend college without taking on moderate amounts of debt, and largely depending on scholarships and grants to send themselves or their children. Lower-class families have an exceedingly difficult time getting a college degree, living in low-income neighborhoods with poor public schools does not produce the competitive ...
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