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Student Debt Is Skyrocketing

Numbers out from the U.S. Education Department show that students borrowed 25 percent more money in the 2008-2009 academic year than the year before for a total of $75.1 billion. This was the biggest increase in fifteen years. Cause number one for the spike? The sinking economy. Today, two-thirds of students nationwide borrow for college, carrying an average debt load of $23,186 by the time they graduate. The Wall Street Journal reports Thursday that young people with student debt tend to put off major life decisions like buying a first home, marrying, or having children. Any long-term policy changes will be tough to come by as colleges, foundations, private institutions, and the federal government wrestle over differing priorities.