The amount of student debt has increased to record levels during President Obama's administration despite longstanding promises to tackle the problem, according to a report by the College Board Advocacy and Policy Center.
According to the report, "borrowing grew more rapidly from 2005-06 to 2010-11 than it had during the preceding five years." Both borrowers and graduates picked up debt beyond the rate of inflation.
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The report found that "debt per borrower grew at an average annual rate of 2.1 percent beyond inflation and average debt per graduate grew at an average annual rate of 2.7 percent." Compare those numbers to 1.4 percent and 2.5 percent, in the time between 2000-01 and 2005-06.
Tuition costs for all types of higher education have hit record highs. The average tuition for a 4-year public university has risen from $6,865 when Obama took office to $8,655 for the 2012-13 school year.
Senator John Thune (R., S.D.), chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, blamed President Obama’s policies for the "bleak economic outlook" that young Americans face.
"President Obama's failed economic policies resulted in 43 straight months of unemployment above eight percent since the start of his administration," Thune told the Free Beacon.
"Twenty-three million Americans are unemployed or underemployed and nearly five million Americans have been out of work for over a year," he said.
"The fact that 50 percent of recent college graduates remain unemployed or underemployed is unacceptable."
Thune outlined an economic plan to help recent graduates. "By providing tax certainty for our job creators and eliminating excessive government red tape and regulations on our employers, we can get Americans back to work," he said.
Generation Opportunity, a non-partisan, non-profit youth polling organization, found that young people care more about jobs than college debt.
In a July 27 to July 31 poll of 1,003 young adults, the organization discovered that 64 percent of those surveyed "believe the availability of more quality, full-time jobs upon graduation is more important than lower student loan interest rates."
Twenty-six percent of those surveyed said that they delayed "pay[ing] off student loans or other debt" due to the bad state of the economy.