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Student loan debt concept image

Student debt has surpassed the amount of credit card debt and auto loans in the United States. In Wisconsin, there are an estimated one million people with some $19 billion in student loan debt.

Some call it a “crisis” that has serious, widespread implications, but others say the macroeconomic implications are overblown and argue that high levels of debt reflect the real cost of higher education, — a prudent investment that will pay off. So which of those is true, and what should current borrowers be thinking about for down the road?

The Cap Times has assembled an outstanding panel to discuss those questions at the High Noon Saloon on Monday, Oct. 23. Reporter Katelyn Ferral, who is examining this topic in stories and a podcast, will moderate the panel. Its members are:

• Ellie Bruecker, doctoral student in UW-Madison’s Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis

• Analiese Eicher, program director at One Wisconsin Now

• Derek Kindle, office of student financial aid director at UW-Madison

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• Brad O’Brien, financial education manager at GreenPath Financial Wellness

The event is free and will start with a meet-and-greet at 6 p.m. at the High Noon, 701 E. Washington Ave. The discussion itself will start at 6:30, ending after an hour or so.

This is the latest installment in the 2-year-old Cap Times Talks discussion series, which often take place at the High Noon. We hope to see you there. If you plan to go, please RSVP on our Facebook event page.