Giving Compass' Take:

· Writing for The Atlantic, Adam Harris discusses the start of the student-debt debate and how Democratic Party leaders have gone from small increases in grants to large-scale debt cancellation.

· How has the student-debt debate changed in recent times? Is student debt a topic of debate among those running for president? How can we solve the student-debt crisis?

· Check out this article to see a different perspective about the student loan crisis.

The presidential-election cycle has barely begun but one thing is already clear: The Democratic candidates want to talk about student debt. No surprise there; the trillion-dollar student-loan bubble has captured the national imagination in ways few higher-education issues have, and candidates are essentially obligated to have a plan to address it.

But what is surprising—how quickly we forget—is just how recent a development this is. When Barack Obama was simply a senator running for the Democratic nod in 2008, the conversation around student debt and college affordability looked different—very different.

Just a dozen years ago, Democratic hopefuls such as Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, and Obama kept their proposals limited. Biden wanted to increase the Pell grant, a federal grant for low-income students, by $300 a year; Clinton similarly pushed to increase the maximum. “The first bill Barack Obama introduced in the U.S. Senate would have helped make college more affordable for many Americans by increasing the maximum Pell grant from the limit of $4,050 to a new maximum of $5,100,” a fact sheet released by the Obama campaign read. The candidates also pushed to make a switch in how student loans were disbursed. The government, not private banks, they argued, should be the entity distributing federal student loans.

Read the full article about the student-debt debate by Adam Harris at The Atlantic.