Data from The Institute for College Access and Success shows that the number of students who graduate with at least $40,000 in student loans increased nine-fold between 1996 and 2008.
Sally Raskoff at Everyday Sociologyoffers some explanations for the data: (1) College has been getting more expensive; among other reasons, states cut education budgets. (2) For-profit colleges have also become a larger proportion of all colleges and students in these colleges are more likely to take out loans. (3) Given a bad economy, students are less likely to have jobs while in school. Other explanations? Stories?Lisa Wade is a professor of sociology at Occidental College and the co-author of Gender: Ideas, Interactions, Institutions. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook.