This student loan situation isn't at all surprising at this point—it just keeps going up, now with 9.1% defaulting within two years—but "distressing" isn't quite a strong enough word for it.
· Public school borrowers defaulted at a rate of 8.3%
· It is the fifth straight year for defaults to rise
· One study showed one-fifth of all of the nation's households owed some student debt in 2010
Kids These Days™ don't know what they're getting into, and what it can do to their lives is criminal. And these stats aren't anywhere near the whole story: "The Department of Education for the first time also released an official three-year default rate, which showed that given another year of payments, last year's 8.8% default rate ballooned to 13.4%." One defaulter says:
"You think 'I'm going to get a job when I get out, I'm going to pay back these loans, I'm going to be set'," she said. "The next thing you know, I can't even find anyone to hire me.
"It's a lot of stress. It's scary. And all because you did the right thing—which was to go to school and get off the street."
More on this over here, in the "Student Debt" and "It's Not Too Late to Drop Out" sections, as well as in the comments.