I am 25 years old and have been fortunate enough to graduate from college and medical school. Now I have over $120,000 in student loan debt, and I'm one of the lucky ones. I went to a state institution for both (much lower tuition) and have no other debt to speak of. With my minimal salary just out of school, I am already battling to pay my rent and utilities and still save a reasonable amount. In a few months I'm going to have to start monthly payments of hundreds of dollars to pay off my debt. I don't know how I'm going to do it without living check-to-check, and don't want to have to turn to my parents for help.
I'm sure my situation is not unique. Something needs to be done to make higher education more affordable. Literally every year for the last 8 years, tuition has increased for in-state and out-of-state students at my institutions. It seems like whenever the state is strapped for cash, they raise the cost of education. They're flirting with fire here - sooner or later they're going to push tuition over the edge and college enrollment will drop dramatically. That, and/or huge numbers of grads will default on their loans, tanking our economy. Then what? We can't thrust grads into such horrendous financial circumstances then blame them for not keeping up. Something needs to be done to lower the cost of higher education. After all, young, energetic, motivated college grads with fresh minds are the future of this country's leadership in all sectors. It needs to start with governments making increasing costs or decreasing funding taboo.