Student-loan debt is ballooning across the country, with some economists calling it the next big challenge for the economy. The average student-loan debt at Georgia’s four-year public and private universities grew to nearly $19,000 last year. Nationally, average debt tops $25,000.
Classes began in Columbus this week for students of Virginia College, the latest ‘for-profit’ institution to open in Georgia. But as the number of ‘for profit’ colleges climbs, so do student loans in default. Officials with the ‘for profit’ industry say the trend is troubling, but not surprising given the economy and the typical student, who is often older and has a family. Industry critics however cite aggressive recruiting tactics luring students who are not in good financial position.