Illinois student loans

Peter Medlin

The Partnership for College Completion held an event at Northern Illinois University discussing their new reports on the cost of college, specifically for black students.

Along with university officials and local lawmakers, several black NIU students came to the event to talk about their own challenges paying for school.

Gabrielle Sims is a junior at NIU.

Austin Hansen, Ross Beach

Student debt forgiveness has quickly risen from the fringes and become one of the most widely discussed topics going into the 2020 election.

 

Right now over 44 million Americans have student loans worth about $1.5 trillion

 

Many of the Democratic candidates for president have begun floating their plans to forgive some student loans or eliminate them entirely. 

Garrett Wise graduated from Northern Illinois University just over three years ago. As he strode across the stage and collected his Bachelor's degree in applied physics, he knew that, like most students, he accumulated student loan debt. He just didn't know how bad it was.

Every student who takes out federal student loans must complete so-called "exit counseling" after they graduate and before their first bill comes due. This is where Wise found out how much he'd pay per month and how much money the government expected him to make per year.