This guy is off-base:
"By the end of my sophomore year at a small private liberal arts college..."
Private colleges are about 2.5 more costly than public (assuming in-state tuition):
What makes this author and others like him think he is entitled to a private college education in a low-paying career? Let's face it, liberal arts degree in writing is not going to bring home the bucks. His family started out with a loan, then more, then bankruptcy. Is it any surprise there was a default? The bank should have stopped after the first one and informed he should transfer to a lower cost school before giving more money. Those who have repaid their student loans are now financing this author and others like him. It's not free, we all pay.
Perhaps degrees should have something like is on appliances for energy ratings, an average time to repay.
"This degree and this institution will take on average 20 years to repay"
Loan processors can use that to assess whether to grant the loan.