Students are receiving little or minimal help from collections agencies and their alma maters when it comes to paying off debt, the New York Daily News reports.
In fact, most colleges and universities are becoming increasingly dependent on students "racking up debts that are unpayable in their lifetimes," the news source notes. And they receive the largest profits when they find debtors who default. The Occupy Student Debt Campaign was launched as part of a protest against City University of New York's recent tuition increases. It was reported that one student even publicly burned a debt collection letter from Sallie Mae. Protests such as these exist because paying off student loans has become harder than ever before, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Specifically, the average tuition at four-year public colleges has increased 268 percent from 1977, while private school fees jumped 248 percent. Furthermore, in 2007, 53 percent of full-time students borrowed money to pay for college, compared to just 34 percent in 1977. To put that in perspective, a minimum-wage worker would need to work 35 hours a week to afford a college education today, compared to the 14 hours a week it would've taken someone in 1970.