MADISON, Wis. — In his State of the Union speech, President Barack Obama spoke to the need for greater access and affordability in higher education and job training. One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross, whose organization has done groundbreaking state and national research on the economic impact of the $1.2 trillion student loan debt crisis, issued the following statements:
“Tonight the President spoke eloquently of the challenges that millions of hard-working people across our nation face as they seek to turn the American Dream into a reality for themselves and their families.
“For generations, higher education and job training has been that path to the middle class. But the burgeoning $1.2 trillion student loan debt crisis threatens to turn their education from opportunity into a multi-decade debt sentence.
“Borrowers have done the right thing, working hard for their education and taking on the personal responsibility of paying for it.
“These hard working Americans have earned the right to have a fair shot at the middle class, and they deserve the best efforts of their elected leaders to reform the system and stop the abuses for both current borrowers and future generations.”