Giving Compass' Take:

• Antony Davies and James R. Harrigan argue that poor financial planning, not bad policy, is causing the student loan debt crisis. 

• How can funders best help students avoid and escape debt? What are the macroeconomic implications of the student debt crisis? 

• Learn how financial literacy can increase college success

After accounting for parental contributions, savings and scholarships, the average student who borrows ends up borrowing less than $30,000 to finance a four-year education.

Even students from the nation’s poorest households appear not to have trouble obtaining student loans. Almost 65 percent of students coming from the poorest quartile of U.S. households have borrowed at least $10,000 for college. That, combined with working 20 hours per week at a minimum wage job, would pay for four years at the typical public university.

Whether students have problems affording college, on the other hand, is largely up to them. The stories of college graduates mired in debt make great fodder for the evening news, but only 5 percent of undergraduate and graduate students combined have loans in excess of $100,000. And since graduate degrees in law and medicine are included in these numbers, the fraction of four-year college graduates who are $100,000 in debt is vanishingly small. Almost 90 percent of indebted students have borrowed less than $50,000. The few cases of students buckling under massive debt are due less to their being hit hard with the tuition hammer than to their having made poor educational choices.

Read the full article about the student loan crisis by Antony Davies and James R. Harrigan at Inside Sources.