In a new post at Minding the Campus, David Wilezol writes that Washington is no longer ignoring student loans.

Student Loan Reform Is Now a Major Political Issue

As student debt continues to climb and reform fails to materialize, it’s not surprising that some politicians are capitalizing on their constituents’ frustration. In fact, some of the brightest stars on both sides of the partisan divide are taking up the cause of student loan reform.

Senator Marco Rubio, who seems likely to run for president, understands that Mitt Romney’s economic message failed to connect with voters—especially millennials. To attract these younger voters, many of whom have grown disillusioned with the Democrats, he’s embracing student loan reform.

Rubio is familiar with the problem of student debt. After graduating law school, he amassed over $100,000 in student loan debt. “At one point in my life,” he recently claimed, “it was the single-highest expenditure in our personal budget.” Rubio only was able to pay down his debt in 2012 with proceeds from his autobiography. He can therefore identify with the many students whose student loan repayments prevent them from entering adulthood.

So far, he’s proposed two solutions. The Know Before You Go Act, pushed for greater disclosure on schools’ graduation rates and their graduates’ loan debt, employment prospects, and future earnings. The Investing in Student Success Act seeks to create a legal structure for income-share agreements (ISAs), private arrangements in which investors front tuition cash to students in exchange for receiving a portion of the student’s future income. More recently, Rubio called for an automatic enrollment of federal borrowers into an income-based repayment system. Though income-based repayment is most often associated with Democrats, Rubio calculates that adjusting the way (not whether) student debt is repaid will appeal to indebted young voters.