Andrew Martin and Andrew Lehren have written a major story on college loan debt for the New York Times (5/12/2012). As the authors note: .... growing student hangs over the economy like a dark cloud for a generation of college graduates and indebted dropouts. One interesting aspect of the article is its discussion of the less than honest campaigns that non-profit colleges use to entice students to attend them. Another devastating insight: Many students and parents dont have a firm understanding of the cost of attending college, or the amount of debt they will incur. And most colleges arent much help. Oh, and one mother who co-signed loans for her daughter is taking out life insurance on her child. Thats when you know its getting serious.

Martin has a follow-up article that is first-rate. In it he speaks with E. Gordon Gee, president of Ohio State, who says that public colleges and universities need to devise a new business model to pay for the costs of education, beyond sticking students with higher tuition and greater debt" (in quotes - NYT summary of Gee's thinking).