A SPECIAL REPORT BY SOUTH DAKOTA NEWS WATCH -- In a two-part series, News Watch will reveal the high student loan amounts carried by college graduates in South Dakota and examine the outcomes of carrying such large debt loads well into adulthood. This week, we show how in a low-wage state that ranks among the worst in the nation for student debt loads, many South Dakota college graduates endure high levels of debt that inhibit home ownership, entrepreneurship and the pursuit of a financially stable lifestyle. Next week, we will explore the broken promises of the federal public service loan forgiveness program that so far has failed to deliver debt relief for those who took jobs in government or community service to hasten repayment of their college loans.
Anxiety, worry and hopelessness are part of the emotional toll -- and difficulty owning a home or planning for the future are real-world consequences -- that are endured by some college graduates who carry tens of thousands in student loans they may never be able to pay back.
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