Student Loan Debt Cycle Transcends Generations

It seems there is little real relief on the horizon.

“If you’re coming out of college with an average number of $20,000 to $25,000 in debt and there’s no job out there, you’ve got a real problem,” said John Quinterno, a researcher who has studied the consequences of student debt.

A report he authored for Demos, a think tank and advocacy group in New York, titled “The Great Cost Shift: How Higher Education Cuts Undermine the Future Middle Class,” traces the rising costs relative to stagnant family income and declining state support over the past 10 years.

“There has been a radical shift in how we finance public higher education in the United States,” he said. “The cost used to be spread out over society at large and now it has shifted onto households and individuals . . . in state after state.

“There seems to be the acceptance of ‘This is the way it’s going to be,’ ” said Quinterno. “There is only so much families can do and we may be reaching the tipping point.”