Jane Lynch PSA aims for students struggling under debt →

Actress Jane Lynch talked about her role in a new PSA aimed at helping kids and their parents deal with the rising cost of college during an appearance on MSNBC’s NOW with Alex Wagner Tuesday. Lynch explained how her own nieces and nephews are struggling to pay back student loans while at the same time trying to search for jobs to help pay their debt. 

Wagner and Lynch discussed the billions of dollars crippling students and recent college graduates, and noted that “student loan is the biggest source of American debt after mortgages.” A recent Sallie Mae study, “How America Pays for College 2012,” showed that 69% of families eliminated the option of college because of cost.

"It’s almost as if we’re dumbing ourselves down," Lynch said about the partisan fight over education. "A college education is a terrific opportunity for a child to bloom and grow."

Yet, across the country, states are seeing major cuts to funding in higher education. In California, the two public systems of higher education endured cuts of $650 million each, and could lose $100 million more if the state fails to meet revenue expectations, according to The New York Times

As funding for colleges decrease, the number of student loans available increased, which has created confusion for students and their families. Lynch pointed Wagner toward CollegeFinanceCenter.org, a new website devoted to helping families understand their loan options and how to pay them back. 

"We’ve totally demeaned the value of education by making it so hard for kids to go to school," Lynch said. "It’s a huge issue. We’re talking about the future here."

(msnbc.com: Lean Forward blog - July 17, 2012)