Higher education offers millions of people the opportunity to pursue their dreams and make meaningful contributions to civilization -- but it often doesn't come cheap. At $1.5 trillion, the student loan debt in the United States alone is worth more than the value of Facebook and Microsoft combined. So how did we get here? Why do so many people believe the government and private financial interests have conspired to put people under the thumb of life-long, crippling debt? And, perhaps most disturbingly, what will happen if the debt bubble bursts?