Seriously, sometimes I think a sizable chunk of the debt many students (not just today, but of all eras… I am a GenX by the way) acquire is due to the “need” to acquire so many things that are not really necessary during college. I am from a lower-middle class family, and my father became disabled when I was starting college. It caused me to think carefully…. I went to a much more budget friendly 4-year school than I was originally planning to attend because of financial worries. I did not have many if any luxuries during my four years of college, I did have a 17 year old car, however. I worked two part time jobs to support myself, and I worked like hell to get good grades so when I applied to “bigger name” graduate schools…. I ended up getting assistantships that gave me a stipend and a free ride the rest of the way. I obtained my undergraduate degree in 4 years. I would say that a large percentage of a college student’s typical debt can be eliminated by making wise choices to live within your means…. if that means going to a less expensive college, or doing without a smart phone, or a newer car, or all those money eating luxuries. If students were willing to live more frugally during those four years, the debt load most would acquire would be about only 25% of what it typically is.