The future of this country depends on our ability to educate our people. Higher education should no longer be available just to the rich. Everyone should be able to go. Right now the only beneficiaries of student loans are banks.
One approach would be to improve/expand programs that offer to pay for college in exchange for public service, either before or after. Army, Navy, etc. But also Peace Corps, Ameri Corps, or sevice with organizations after you have obtained your degree. Maybe even give credit for service to volunteer organizations, etc.
For this to work, the amount of government contribution should be far more substantial than it is now. College can easily cost $30k, $50k, $100k, but I think government programs cap out at something like $5k a year.
How about a program where the government will pay for your education and in exchange you agree to pay an extra x% on your income taxes for some period of time.
For instance, maybe get a Harvard Law degree on the government's dime, and pay 3% more in income taxes every year for the rest of your life. Sounds like a great deal for both the government and the student!