By Danielle Angel
As most Americans focus on the Trayvon Martin investigation, the Supreme Court health care hearings, and other sensational stories, another potential crisis is looming that experts are comparing to the 2008 economic crisis and the housing crisis: rising student loan debt.
Experts may disagree on what to do to amend the current student debt situation, to the students there is no doubt this is a crisis. As American University alum Alexandra Moller explains, Its silly that people who are qualified for schools and programs often cant go because they cannot afford them. Fellow AU grad Andy MacCracken echoed a similar sentiment stating, I know [being in debt] will affect my life decisions Looking further down the road Im not going to be able to buy a home, or start a family, or start thinking about retirement because Ill still be paying all these loans and [have] all this debt for this device thats supposed to train me for all of these things, my education.
The numbers are staggering: just last week cumulative student debt in the U.S. hit $1 trillion for the first time, surpassing credit debt. Defaults on student loans are on the rise as average amount of student debt upon graduation surpassed average starting salary for 2010 graduates. These numbers may grow even more disparate if Congress does not renew the CCPA Act by June 30 this year, which holds student loan interest rates at 3.4 percent. Representative Hansen Clarke (D- Michigan) has taken the issue a step further and introduced a student loan forgiveness bill.