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Did you work your way through college? Here’s why your kids can’t

Market Watch

“You hear the apocryphal story of being able to work your way through school, because it was true,” said Mark Huelsman, a senior policy analyst at Demos, a left-leaning think tank. “If you were a student in 1980 and you took on a full-time summer job and a part-time job in the school year, your college costs would be covered and your living expenses would be covered.” [...]

“Middle-class families certainly didn’t really see much of a raise for 30 years and were contending with obviously higher college prices and other obligations in terms of rising health care prices, rising cost of child care,” said Huelsman. “That is part of the story here, it’s not just rising college costs.” [...]

“It was intended to be a last resort financing mechanism for people who didn’t have savings or who couldn’t get favorable loan terms from a bank,” Huelsman said of the student loan program. “The situation we find ourselves in now, where debt is pretty much a guarantee for most students, was not the intention of the original financing program.”