On 1T day in New York City, hundreds of college students from around the city gathered at Union Square for a rally and then marched downtown to Wall Street. At Union Square, some students publicly burned their student loan debt documents. "1T" stands for 1,000,000,000,000 (one trillion) dollars, which is now the official amount of student loan debt owed to big banks by American college students.
Students in other cities around the country are also rising up in protest, many signing pledges refusing to pay back their loans.
Several hundred protesters, mostly college students wearing placards noting the size of their debt loads, rallied in New York City's Union Square park on Wednesday.
They set fire to student debt documents and held signs reading "Debt free degrees" and "Education in America: Don't bank on it."
Hadi Nassar, 31, whose eight years of undergraduate and dental school education has left him $186,000 in debt, said he was having to rethink his plan to work at a community health clinic.
"It makes me angry. It makes me not want to do what I set out to do - which was, help people, take care of people," said Nassar, a dental resident. "That type of job isn't going to give me enough income, monthly, to pay this off."
While both Democrats and Republicans agree that it is imperative to prevent student loan interest rates from doubling to 6.8 percent, as they are set to do on July 1st, they part ways as to how to cover the loss of revenue estimated at $5.9 billion.
Democrats would close a tax loophole they have dubbed the "Gingrich/Edwards Loophole," which allows millionaires to avoid paying Medicare taxes. Republicans want to eliminate the preventative health fund, which House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) called a "slush fund" on Wednesday.