A History of The Student Debt Crisis — And How Americans Are Trying To Fix It

You don't have to be "feeling the Bern" to know that the United States' student debt crisis has spun out of control. Americans owe $1.3 trillion in student debt, with more than 7 million college grads defaulting on their exorbitant loan payments. Even bleaker, America used to be the world leader in the number of students earning advanced degrees — now we're not even in the top 10 (our current rank is 14).

Unfortunately, many of the factors that contribute to the outrageous price tag of higher education were emerging right around the time millennials were born. Reductions in government support for state colleges, the privatization of the loan industry, and the stagnation of family incomes collided to inflate university costs — just as today's twentysomethings were dreaming of decorating their first dorm rooms. Despite these challenging circumstances, we can advocate for reform, including increased funding for public universities, and improvement of the
relationships between community colleges and the industries in which their students hope to work. The path to change begins with voting this November, so make sure you're ready (and registered!) to make your thoughts heard.

This video is part of We the Voters, a social impact campaign incorporating high-profile celebrities, real political players, and dynamic story lines into a series of groundbreaking short films and apps. We the Voters will demystify how the government and elections work, inspiring millions of young Americans to seize the power of their votes in the 2016 elections. Interconnecting 21 viral films and a variety of ancillary digital extensions across multiple platforms, We the Voters presents democracy and elections in a new, accessible format. As entertaining as it is informative, We the Voters promotes a clear call to action, encouraging young voters to make informed choices. It will be the ultimate resource for understanding what is at stake in this election — and in those to come.

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