Growing up in New York City during the Depression we had access to free colleges which offered both day and night opportunities for young males and females to gain college degree. Of course, the economic situation was five times worse than today, but people in that generation believed any child who wanted a college degree should not be held back by economic factors. Of course, that was before the emergence of a Republican party which is committed to the proposition that each and every wealthy person is entitled to every cent they can sweat off the back of those who work for them. President Obama urged Congress to keep the interest rate at 3.4% and prevent it from rising.
Student loan repayment is damaging the housing market and it damages the ability of young people to purchase cars and other items that would get millions back to work. Here is a simple solution to the student loan problem: Offer students the opportunity to pay 2% of their income over their lifetime to pay off the loan and once paid off, any payment would cease.