03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Student Loans: Lending Tightens, College Costs Rise - And Educators Worry College Is Out Of Reach For Many

The upheaval in financial markets did not just eliminate generous lending for home buyers; it also ended an era of easy credit for students and their families facing the soaring cost of a college degree.

To pay for higher education, most Americans had come to rely on a range of financial products born of the Wall Street boom. Nearly all of these shrank or disappeared in the storm that engulfed the stock and debt markets.