Millions of Students Struggling in Current Economy Are Looking for Help

By Emily Hammer, a Fall 2011 intern

As a 2011 college graduate, I have felt the pressure of trying to find a job in this economy. For millions of college grads, finding a job and paying off significant debt from student loans is a major concern.

According to a report released by Demos and Young Invincibles, two out of three students graduate with an average of more than $24,000 in student loan debt. Tuition rates for colleges continue to soar, while graduates languish in a struggling job market in which 29 percent of 18-24 year-olds and 16 percent of 25-34 year-olds are underemployed.

The “Pay As You Earn” student loans plan that the Obama administration announced last month would ease the financial burden for many young people. The plan would consolidate loan payments, reduce interest rates, and would take effect in 2012 as an immediate benefit for students.

“With student debt set to top $1 trillion, any steps that make affording college easier or less expensive for current and past students are steps that need to be taken without delay,” said Angela Peoples, policy and advocacy manager at Campus Progress, the youth-centered arm of the Center for American Progress.

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