Students walk across the campus of UCLA in Los Angeles, California.
In the back room of an office supply store in Grand Junction, Colorado, six guys who call themselves Soul Habit practice for a holiday tree lighting concert. Tim Breckon, 29, is on the trombone putting his education to work. He also wrote the music.
Breckon has a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in trombone performance, and about $78,000 in student loans.
“This month I'll make my tenth or eleventh successful zero-dollar payment, which is what I can afford,” he said.
He can pay nothing because he's in an income-based repayment plan and has never earned much above the poverty line. His music gigs don't pay much. In the summer, he loads fire retardant...