Students march nationwide against debt, high tuition

'Change starts when people demand it in the streets' student says

Students around the nation protested the rising costs of higher education and rallied for debt-free public colleges on Thursday, Curtis Skinner and Valerie Vande Panne report for Reuters.

They called the movement the Million Student March, and attendance ranged from dozens to hundreds of people. At Northeastern University in Boston, students from surrounding universities gathered to protest, holding signs with slogans like "Degrees, not receipts." At University of California, Berkeley's campus, students held signs showing their individual debt loads, ranging up to six figures.

In 2006, the national student debt load was less than $600 million. Since then, it's doubled to $1.2 trillion. This historic amount of debt—coupled with a recovering job market—is making it difficult for graduates to pay back their loans.

It's an issue that has caught the eye of presidential primary candidates on both sides of the aisle. Both Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and Republican candidate Marco Rubio have proposed forms of income-based repayment plans for federal student loans.

But for some, 2016 is too far away.  

"Change starts when people demand it in the streets," says Northeastern student Elan Axelbank. "Not in the White House" (Skinner/Vande Panne, Reuters, 11/12).

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