Why student loan debt is soaring into the five and six figures

Tuition Ignition: A week-long series looking at the soaring cost of college at public and private institutions

Melanie Bradshaw was determined to go to New York University, her dream school: so much so that when she was accepted, she ignored the more substantial aid packages at other schools to attend NYU, which offered her no aid. "For a while I was worried that I was making the wrong choice, because who can really afford this tuition? Obviously I went for it, despite the issue," she wrote in an e-mail.