By Omolara Falebita, age 11, and IndyKids Staff

A college student voices his opinion on education and student debt in Zuccotti Park on the 23rd day of the Occupy Wall Street movement in New York City, 10/9/2011. Phineas Azcuy


In 2018 the amount of student debt in the U.S came to $1.4 trillion dollars, up from about $671 billion at the beginning of 2008. This is in part thanks to the Great Recession. After the recession, there was a growth in the for-profit college industry and public colleges increased their tuition due to less government support. It’s also been harder for graduates to find jobs, especially in their area of study. This means that students are finding it more difficult to pay back the money.

By 2023, 40 percent of students may default on student loans, meaning 40 percent of students won’t be able to pay back the money they borrowed from the bank. Students are suffering from this debt, and the government is not doing enough to help.

Nevertheless, people are creating companies to try and solve this problem. Organizations such as AmeriCorps/ AmeriCorps Vista, Teach for America, Peace Corps, and National Health Service Corps are doing their best to decrease student debt. These organizations rely mainly on volunteer service to conduct their work. Whenever a student does a project or completes an objective, they get money to pay off their debt to the bank or mortgage market. Some programs require you to be a specific age, have certain degrees or have a certain GPA. There is even a Jeopardy-like game show that discards a huge amount of debt.

Although these groups are making a large contribution to shrink college debt, this problem will continue to be a significant one in the near future.


Default: failure to fulfill an obligation, especially to repay a loan or appear in a court of law.

Mortgage Market:  A market for loans to people and organizations buying property.

GPA: grade point average (GPA) for the marking period.