ELENA Calderon is a first-generation college student who graduated from Eastern Washington University with two degrees and without debt.
This isn’t the story you’re used to reading about. The media are full of horrifying anecdotes, highlighting an unemployed art major who left college owing $100,000. State and federal legislators cite student debt as a national calamity. The standard narrative is negative: As a result, many students, rather than being excited for the college journey that lies ahead, focus on the debt they fear will overwhelm them.