Student debt has skyrocketed over the past decade, quadrupling from just $240 billion in 2003 to more than $1 trillion today.1 If current borrowing patterns continue, student debt levels will reach $2 trillion in 2025.2 Average debt levels have risen rapidly as well: two-thirds (66 percent) of college seniors now graduate with an average of $26,600 in student loans,3 up from 41 percent in 1989.4 The rise of this “debt-for-diploma” system over the past decade was largely caused by the sharp decline in state funding for higher education, which has fallen by 25 percent since its peak in 2000.5
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Before COVID-19, the leaders of a corporation would be looking at where and who to cut to get back on track in Q3 and...