Student loan debt skyrocketing

, Written by Kassi Nelson, Posted: Sat, June 14 2014 at 6:06 PM, Updated: Mon, June 16 2014 at 12:28 PM

Ashland, Ore. -- The amount of college debt for college students has skyrocketed. And U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan said the growing cost of college tuition is something the nation needs to address.

One study from the University of Arizona found that a typical student is burdened with $30,000 of student loan debt.

Southern Oregon University graduates said they're not surprised by the number.

"Of my three roommates, two of them had to take some time off because it was just too expensive here," graduate Connor Donley said.

German Ibarra graduated from SOU Saturday. Now, he faces the real world and is burdened by student loan debt.

"I'm going to be paying it off for a while," said Ibarra.

But he's not alone. 40,000,000 Americans are dealing with the same thing.

"Going to college has never been more important, but sadly it's never been more expensive," U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan said. "We have to address the massive cost of going to college. It can't just be for rick folks. This has to be the path to the middle class."

Earlier this week President Obama expanded a program that would allow about 5,000,000 students who took out federal direct loans to cap their payments at 10 percent of their monthly income.

On Wednesday, senate republicans blocked a democratic bill to lower the cost of student loans.

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About the Author

Kassi Nelson

NBC5 News reporter Kassi Nelson was born and raised in Nebraska. She graduated from the journalism school at University of Nebraska Lincoln where she studied broadcasting.

She also studied philosophy in the Czech Republic. Kassi has visited nine other countries including Sochi, Russia, where she reported on the preparations for the 2014 Olympic Games.

She loves skiing and live concerts!

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