The student loan debt crisis has continued to form into a nationwide bubble. For now, recent graduates are living in limbo and facing exorbitant interest rates, which some presidential candidates wish to fix. Graduating high schoolers, meanwhile, are looking at joining a broken system, or being forced to avoid enrolling in school altogether.
President Barack Obama's tuition-free community college plan will surely soften the burden for some new students hoping to avoid college debt, but student loan debt is still a major cause for concern for anyone who's already graduated from school or looking to attend a four-year university.
Here are nine facts that reveal just how shocking the student loan debt crisis has become over the years.
1. Public college tuition in the United States was 3.22 times more expensive compared to 1985 adjusted for inflation.
2. Meanwhile, the cost of college textbooks has seen a 1,041% increase since 1977 — three times the rate of inflation.
3. The average American student graduates with enough money in student loan debt to buy a Tesla 3.
Yeah, $35,000 is a whole lot of money.
One expert said more than 25% of those students almost definitely won't be able to afford the burden, according to a guest column in Time.
5. Student loan debt in America has surpassed credit card debt.
6. Over 40 million Americans faced student loan debt in 2014.
"The population with student loans is actually greater than the entire population of Canada, Poland, North Korea, Australia and more than 200 other countries," the Huffington Post noted at the time.
7. According to the Bay Citizen, the rate at which graduates defaulted on their loans nearly doubled from 2005 to 2010, from 4.6% to 8.8%.
8. For the 7 million Americans who defaulted on their student loans in 2014, they may have become ineligible for certain government jobs, according to the Huffington Post.
9. The student loan debt crisis has prevented millennials from spending on many other life milestones.
Cars and houses have become far-off dreams for millennials, a delay in consumerism that could ultimately have huge impacts on the American economy.