Student Loan Debt: Prison for Graduates

High (and rising) tuition prices and student loan debt are at the forefront of the American higher education conversation for good reason.

Credit: USNews

The Institute for College Access & Success reports that 69 percent of graduates had an average of nearly $29,000 per borrower.

Personally, I know more than a few handfuls of people with debt that’s too high to manage with a competitive wage in their chosen field.

This anecdote, published in Slate by Samual Garner, details a story all too common for American graduates. He describes solutions that are more akin to a life of crime than that of a college graduate:

I thought maybe I should get a lawyer, flee the country, or sell a kidney.”

Desperate times call for desperate measures. But for some, a life on the run is a realistic solution. This VICE article tells the story of students who decided not to pay the price of ignoring student loans by moving to Europe and avoid paying anything at all: Debt Dodgers: Meet the Americans Who Moved to Europe and Went AWOL on Their Student Loans.

It seems the term “debtors’ prison” is less hyperbolic than ever before. With more and more of these stories surfacing, what’s in store for American higher education? What steps can we take to affect change and protect the financial future of American graduates?

People are advocating for change now more than ever. In an election year, it will be interesting to see what ideas emerge to fix what’s broken.

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