Education remains a significant stepping stone for greater earnings potential. A 2015 report from the U.S. Social Security Administration found that both men and women with a graduate degree earn more than $1 million in median lifetime income compared with high school graduates. But the current systems that deliver and pay for higher education do a disservice to those who could benefit most. 
The United States is one of the few developed nations in which 18-year-olds are encouraged to take out hundreds of thousands of dollars in loans to go to a university, or else face the prospect of a lifetime of low- to middle-skill jobs. So, they go to college. But the U.S. Census Bureau estimates there are 36 million Americans who started college but did not earn a degree. Those students, and often their family members, carry overwhelming amounts of debt that takes decades to repay. The total amount of student debt in the United States is estimated at $1.5 trillion. Further, it takes an average of 20 years for students to pay off that loan.

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