After a three-year hiatus, federal student loan payments are back.

Roughly a quarter of America’s workforce — 43.5 million people — carry student loan debt. Collectively, this group owes more than $1.7 trillion, or an average of nearly $38,000 per person.

While the country debates the merits of student loan forgiveness, we are ignoring a more fundamental question — how do we help people avoid student debt to begin with?


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