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Crystal worked her way through college. Now in her thirties, she is a UW Law School graduate, a member of the armed forces, a mother, and a cancer survivor. She says beating cancer was difficult, but not as difficult as paying off her student loans.


Caroline is from a working class family. She worked her way through college but was still stuck with $65,000 in student loan debt. Like many Americans, she's career-driven, wants to own a home and have a family, but feels her student loans are holding her back.


Boyd didn't have student loan debt as an undergraduate because tuition was lower and he worked while in college. But to move up the ladder, he went back to school and took out loans to pay for it. Then tragedy struck, and Boyd was left with skyrocketing payments.

Melissa & Maurice

Melissa & Maurice did the right thing: they got good grades in high school, then went on to college and took on the personal responsibility to pay for it. Now they feel like nothing they can do will allow them to escape their crushing student loan debt.

Jesse & Stephanie

Jesse & Stephanie amassed $120,000 in student loan debt after returning to college to get professional degrees. Despite working throughout college, these financially responsible newlyweds have been forced to delay their future.


Kira decided to stay in Madison, Wisconsin after graduating with close to $60,000 in student loan debt. She has dreams of being a foster parent and serving the community with public service, but that debt may hold her back.


Saul had a great start at the University of Wisconsin, but when his tuition jumped and he couldn't afford it he dropped out and joined the U.S. Army. While serving our country in Afghanistan, he had to make sure that his student loans were paid.


Miles attended one of the poorest high schools in Milwaukee before getting accepted to one of the greatest universities in the world, the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Now, he has another obstacle to overcome: massive student loan debt.


Student loan borrowers have done the right thing — working hard to get their education or job training and taking on the personal responsibility of paying for it. But $1.3 trillion in student loan debt is standing between them and a fair shot at the middle class. We need to get serious about real, common sense reforms to treat these hard working borrowers fairly before the crisis becomes a full-blown economic catastrophe.

see One Wisconsin Now's work on this issue

Make a Pledge to Be a ‘Student Loan Voter’