Student Loan Series

WAMC, Allison Dunne

Back in December, we brought you a series on student loan debt. One of the stories focused on young farmers, who face unique challenges. Now, a follow-up: one of the young farmers in our original story is starting her season with a lot more green than she had hoped.

This was Leanna Mulvihill in December.

“I have about $18,000 in debt. I went to a state school and I got a scholarship, so I got really lucky as far as the costs of college go, but I still have debt.”

And this is Mulvihill today.


Many Gen-Xers and Millennials are caught between a rock and a hard place when it comes to the cost of higher education. How are new parents are coping with the rising cost of a college education for their children, while still saddled with their own school debts?

In the year 2030, the average sticker price for a year at a private university could be as much as $130,428. That’s according to recent projections by loan-handlers Campus Partners. Their outlook is pretty bleak for public universities too—which could cost a whopping $41,228 per year.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

As the price for higher education continues to climb, more students are taking on loans to help pay their way through college. But many students take on financial assistance without fully understanding what will happen once they leave campus and the bill comes due. In the seventh installment in our series, WAMC’s Southern Adirondack Bureau Chief Lucas Willard explores the “sticker shock” that can accompany student loan payments.

All this week, WAMC has been reporting on what experts are calling the student loan crisis in the U.S. Authors Joel and Eric Best are have plenty in common — they are father and son and are both college professors — but their generations had vastly different experiences paying for school. And their students today face new challenges, with most borrowing to pay for ever-increasing education costs. The Bests are the authors of The Student Loan Mess: How Good Intentions Created A Trillion-Dollar Problem. Eric Best and Joel Best spoke with WAMC’s Ian Pickus.

WAMC, Allison Dunne

There’s a new campaign aimed at providing student loan forgiveness to young farmers. Young farmers say debt forgiveness would free them up financially to invest in their own operations, but it is not the sole financial panacea.

In the spring, these pastures will be home to 30 lambs, and toward the woods, 24 pigs, all under the farming prowess of 24-year-old Leanna Mulvihill. She’ll be running Four Legs Farm at Pine Farm in her native New Paltz. But not all the grass is green in her life.

Alan Cleaver/Flickr

Choosing a college, getting admitted, and figuring out how to pay for it are complex decisions with long-lasting consequences.  Because the stakes are so high more and more people are opting not to be do-it-yourselfers.  A growing trend among high school students and their parents is to hire an independent educational consultant.

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More than a third of recent college students who have student loans are delinquent, and experts warn many don’t want to – or simply can’t — pay.  WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief Dave Lucas has the next story in our series on student loans and the costs of higher education.

In part two of a series on student loan debt, WAMC News takes a look at how adult learners are navigating today’s world of higher education and what schools are doing to meet their needs.


Student loan debt now outstrips credit card debt in the United States and some are concerned that if college costs cannot be contained, the nation’s future economic growth could be compromised.  In today’s installment of our special series on student loans, WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley looks at how legislative efforts might impact the cost of college.