For President Obama, the student loan crisis is personal.
The Obamas had not repaid all of their $120,000 student loan debts until his election to the Senate in 2004.
In a series of speeches last week, Obama pushed for measures that he hopes would force colleges to control costs for massively indebted students. He also expressed the view that law school should only last two years, rather than three.
These views are likely informed by Obama’s own college debts, which were recently quantified by The Chicago Sun-Times.
Though Obama received a scholarship to attend Occidental College, the money ran out after his freshman year. He paid the rest of his undergraduate tuition through loans and assistance from his family.
Michelle Obama took out loans to pay for college at Princeton University and Harvard University as well. The Obamas carried these debts for the first 25 years of their marriage.
The president and the first lady also racked up $40,000 each attending Harvard Law School. Including undergraduate loans, the Obamas owed a combined $120,000 after college.