Paying for education should not be equated to pay for major overhead at colleges.
“Approximately 3.9 million people were employed in degree-granting post secondary institutions in fall 2016, including 1.5 million faculty, 0.4 million graduate assistants, and 2.0 million other staff.”
The “other staff” has skyrocketed over the years. The job of many of these people relates to executive level positions creating a flowchart of “upper management” and these people receive some of the highest salaries being paid, inflating the cost of education without contributing to that education. Those wages should not be the responsibility of the student in the first place.
As to the student debt side of this equation, relate the obligation to pay directly to the grade earned. A "good" student has "worked" to achieve those grades. Factor that into their obligation to repay by reducing their debt by some formula which favors needed educational fields, i.e. STEM, as well. The better your grade at graduation, the greater the percent of your debt that is reduced. If a student is forced to leave before graduation, that reduction offer should follow them upon successful completion of the degree at a later time. If you are in school to just "party," you should not be paid for it in any sense of the word.
Nothing in this world is free. Developing a work ethic and a sense of personal achievement has far more value than getting a free “also participated” award for four or more years out of your life. We have, before our eyes now, the results that “also participated” have delivered on the current generation entering the work force.
Alfred S. Blakey