Student Debt: What's Been Driving College Costs So High, Anyway?

Ann McClure's picture

Aaron Marks graduates this spring with a business degree from a good college, Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, and, unlike many of his classmates, a good job.

He also has $191,000 in student loan debt.

Mr. Marks's debt is extraordinarily high, but stories like his abound. Two-thirds of students graduate with debt, to the tune of $25,000, on average.

Keeping interest rates low on federally subsidized student loans – a challenge that has lately occupied Washington – would make only a dent in what student borrowers owe. Hence, the conversation is beginning to shift to the other side of the equation: the rising cost of college.

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