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10 Part Series examines rising costs and consequences of higher education

The Tuition is Too Damn High is a 10-part series that will run in Wonkblog over the next two weeks exploring the causes and consequences of — and potential fixes for — the skyrocketing costs of higher education. This is part one.” By Dylan Matthews

“But if the upfront price of college is rising much faster than earnings, how are more and more families managing to pay for it? In large part, by going into debt. The total student loan burden now exceeds $1 trillion, with two-thirds of the class of 2011 taking out loans and over 40 percent of 25-year-olds still in student loan debt. About two-thirds of borrowers have debt loads under $25,000, but that means one-third are looking at more than $25,000 in debt. All in all, 17 percent of borrowers are at least 90 days delinquent on their payments. Maybe that’s smart; college is a good investment, as we’ll see in more detail in later segments, and some have even suggested that there might actually be too little student debt. But that debt is a new and major part of our financial world now.”

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