Student Debt

Should college tuition be free?


A majority of college graduates are leaving school owing more than $25,000, and nearly 7 million have defaulted on their student loans. Student debt nationwide totals almost $1.3 trillion — up 350 percent since 2005. Many experts say the rise is due partly to growth in enrollment, expanded eligibility for federal loans and predatory lending. But others say student debt is growing mainly because of skyrocketing tuition. Officials at public colleges blame tuition hikes on declining state support, which fell by about 20 percent between 2001 and 2015. But critics say colleges are spending too much on administration, expensive intercollegiate athletic programs and academic programs with weak demand. Others say the easy availability of student loans encourages colleges to raise prices. Student debt became a ...

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