Chloe Reid, in an LSE Review of Books review of Caitlin Zaloom’s Indebted:

For these families, their lives are organised around the problem of paying for college. […] This preparation begins at a young age, with the parents of a two-year-old spending considerable time and energy planning how to fund their education. Such time and effort means that the families in Indebted must speculate whether college will indeed ‘pay off’ for their children.

The return-on-investment mindset that faculty rightly decry among students has, as one obvious source, this decade-plus financial scrambling.