While looking at debt of college, ignores the reason for the high costs. Colleges have been raising tuition prices because they know you will qualify for the loan and the loan will be repaid. There is a reason the borrowing has sky rocketed up to 1.3 trillion dollars, colleges are making buckets of money.
An example of alternatives, WGU Governors college was created to provide degrees for working people at a real affordable cost. Most people can buy a 40K car on a 6 year loan, but a 400k school loan, thats stupidly expensive.
The running joke is colleges are now just hedge funds with a college attached. And the money isn't used to lower tuition.
Selling free college is a scam the universities want, they think they will get paid at the same high price, just moving the cost to the government. (aka us the tax payers....)
I didn't even mention the money the sports teams are making also.