We all know the importance of a college education — it’s an essential part of the American dream, a route out of poverty. College graduates earn more and have a lower unemployment rate than those without degress. But at what price? Americans collectively owe nearly $1 trillion in student loans. That’s more than we owe in credit card debt. Individually, students today will graduate owing an average of $27,000. As these totals continue to soar, so do default rates — more than half of student loans are either in deferral or delinquent, and the default rate is almost 12 percent. So how do we relieve some of the burden carried by the more than 38 million Americans with outstanding student loans and make sure that college is affordable for future generations?