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Education secretary calls for more action on student loan debt

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Education Secretary Arne Duncan commented Thursday that college should not just be for rich people. (Source: CNN) Education Secretary Arne Duncan commented Thursday that college should not just be for rich people. (Source: CNN)

(CNN) - Education Secretary Arne Duncan said the nation needs to address the growing cost of going to college.

On Wednesday, Senate Republicans blocked a democratic bill to lower the cost of student loans.

President Barack Obama's new plan to cap monthly payments for certain federal student loans to 10 percent of the borrower's income has been criticized.

But Duncan told CNN that something must be done to combat the growing student loan crisis.

"The amount of angst this is causing, the stress this is causing on young people, their families, their parents is huge," Duncan said. "As a nation, going to college is the most important thing folks can do to enter the middle class. Going to college has never been more important, but sadly, it's never been more expensive. And we have to address the massive cost of going to college.

"It can't just be for rich folks. This has to be the path to the middle class."

Student loans have been in the spotlight as the amount of debt has skyrocketed.

Duncan said the president's executive order to cap payments is important, but more is needed to address the student debt problem.

Copyright 2014 CNN. All rights reserved.

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