Events Tackle Student Debt Issue

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EUGENE, Ore. — Student loan debt is hurting approximately 37 million Americans. On Friday, a series of events aims to tackle the issue.

Friday marks the two-year anniversary of total student debt in the United States reaching $1 trillion and two events will be held on the University of Oregon campus. First a rally at Johnson Hall, then a student debt forum at Allen Hall.

Currently, outstanding student debt sits at $1.2 trillion. According to the Almanac of Higher Education, of the nearly 20 million Americans who attend college each year, about 12 million borrow.

The average four-year graduate accumulates $26,000 to $29,000 in loans. Those who continue on to grad school see their debt balloon.

“Our goal is to have more state funding, but also to have this conversation at inter-campus levels about how to responsibly spend dollars,” says Dana Rognlie with the League of Students Slashing Tuition.

Last year, the Oregon legislature approved a tuition freeze for the 2014-2015 school year, for the first time in 14 years. Last summer, lawmakers allocated $15 million to buy down tuition increases at Oregon’s seven public universities.

Also Friday, members of the labor union for graduate teachers will hold a rally. They are in the middle of bargaining and are fighting for higher wages.

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