I have friends graduating with engineering degrees that have 30k in debt from a STATE SCHOOL. This isn't an Ivy League school, but a state university. How does that compute?
It "computes" BECAUSE they went to a state school. If they had gone to an Ivy League school, they would probably have much less debt, if any.
For most students, a good state school is more expensive than Harvard, Princeton, Yale, and so on. That's because the Ivy League schools (and non-Ivy top private schools like Stanford, Chicago, MIT, Caltech and such) have large endowments per student that generate lots of income that they use to provide generous need-based non-loan aid. At Stanford, for instance, if your family makes under $100k, tuition is waived. Under $60k, and Stanford also waives room and board.
State schools, on the other hand, do not have large endowments per student. If their state has budget problems, one of the first things to go is need-based non-loan aid.
This is probably the oddest thing about American higher education. It is actually possible for someone to legitimately say "I could not afford to send my kids to Cal State Fresno, so I sent them Harvard".