As college costs continue to rise, higher education is becoming out of reach for many students. Over the past three decades the cost of college has risen faster than both healthcare and the rate of inflation. Students feel they have no choice other than to take out costly student loans in order to afford their education. Saddled with student loan debt, they then struggle to find a job once they finally earn the degree they worked so hard, both academically and financially, to attain.
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We took to the streets to get firsthand accounts from students who have been impacted by the rising cost of a college education. After talking to both frustrated college students and hopeful high school seniors, we found there was a stark contrast between the high school students' dreams of a college education and the harsh reality of student debt that the college students are facing. Most of the high school students were prepared for the academic challenges that college would bring but almost none of them were prepared for the financial burden of a higher education. There is no question that the financial barriers facing today's students are significant. Talking to the students who were experiencing the financial struggles of attaining a higher education and hearing their personal and emotional stories left an impression on me that I will not soon forget.