Millions of Americans have borrowed more than $1 trillion in student loans, a looming “crisis” that is front-and-center in the 2020 presidential election.
Some 44 million people in the United States are similarly saddled with student loan debt, owing nearly $1.5 trillion. Last fall, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos called it “a crisis.” More and more students leave school each year with loans, experts say, and students borrow more than $100 billion every year to attend college or graduate school.
Borrowers owe the federal government an average of $37,172. A quarter of the borrowers owe more than $50,000, and the Department of Education, which is responsible for the vast majority of all student loans in the country, says a few dozen borrowers have graduate debt of $1 million or more.
The reason: The price of higher education has soared since the ’80s, doubling and then doubling again.
For example, 20 years ago the average tuition cost for four years of public college was just over $20,000. Ten years ago, it was roughly $30,000. Now? It’s $41,000. Add room and board, books and various fees and the expenses could double. While most students attend public college, four years of tuition, room and board at the most expensive private colleges tops $280,000.
— Read on people.com/politics/student-loan-debt-crisis-forgiveness-what-should-government-do/