POLITICS/EDUCATION — Daydreams To Default: The Downward Spiral Of Higher Education

In 1992, the U.S. government officially established the student financial aid program known as the Free Application for Federal Student Aid — or FAFSA — during reauthorization of the Higher Education Act of 1965, which gave clearance to most student programs in the United States. The establishment of FAFSA changed the landscape of student loans forever, introducing banking agents to intervene between the government itself and students looking for a way to finance their education. Fast forward 50 years, and the current status of student debt is a mountain compared to the grain of sand it once was. With student loan debt now topping nearly $1.3 trillion dollars, the highest in the country, outranking even credit card debt and second only to mortgage debt, just how bad is the current state of higher education and the student loan crisis? According to a Forbes report in 2013, it’s crippling. And coupled with the cost of textbooks, which averages out to about $1,200 a year, the impact is becoming increasingly frustrating. No longer is college simply an unpaid invoice from the bank — it’s a frightening game of high stakes poker.

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Image: Tulane/Flickr

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