One of the major issues of our time is the rise of college costs and the resulting debt that many graduates leave school with. Tuition, supplies, living costs — these are just a few of the major financial burdens that are placed on young people and their families, looming over them and causing them stress all while they are trying to study and get an education.

The question is not whether a student should be charged for a college education or not. Instead, the question comes in two parts: should students have to pay such exorbitant rates for a college education, and should graduates have no chance to discharge this debt through the bankruptcy process?

To begin, let’s deal with the first question. Did you know that the total amount of student debt in the U.S. trails only mortgage debt in the U.S.? That’s right, student debt is larger than credit card debt and auto loan debt in the U.S. The price is so high for a college education that many people are foregoing college and just entering the workforce. The price is simply too high. Total student debt in the U.S. comes in at $1.2 trillion, and with tuition rates constantly rising –especially since 2005 — that debt is not likely to go away any time soon.

Which leads to the second question, to which the answer should be “yes.” Instead, student loan debt is nearly impossible to discharge through bankruptcy, leaving many college grads — who struggle to find a job when they graduate — in a precarious financial situation.

Source: Huffington Post, “The Growth Of Tuition And Student Debt Since 2005,” Tyler Kingkade, May 8, 2014