If you have kids who are choosing a college, make sure you shop wisely. Unless Congress acts, the interest rate on student loans is about to double on July 1st. That could cost big money for a lot of struggling graduates. Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar is trying to draw attention to the problem with a new report on student loan debt. Thanks to skyrocketing college costs, student debt has nearly doubled to $986 billion just in the past five years. Two-thirds of recent graduates have student loan debt, and the average amount they’re carrying is a whopping $27,000. It’s an anchor not just on them, but on the entire economy. It means they have to put off buying homes and starting families.

It all shows how important it is for your kids to pick a school and a major that are worth what you’ll have to spend. You might also want to give them a going-away gift: the new book “Walden On Wheels” by Ken Ilgunas. In it, he describes how he came out of college saddles with $32,000 in student loans. And how he paid them off in two years, then got a graduate degree from Duke University with no student loan debt. I warn you, though: it involves a lot of hard work. And living in a used van while attending college. But it’s better than being so deep in debt, you’re living in a van AFTER you get out of college.

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