Lauren Bizzaro has three years of college credits. "But with no degree, those credits got her little more than a late start in the professional world and a $40,000 student-loan balance." Unfortunately, Lauren's predicament is not rare. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that nearly one-third of students who began college in 2012 failed to return to school the following year. Like Lauren, this group is often cut out of consideration for professional-track jobs, at least a year behind their peers who entered the workforce straight from high school, and saddled with student loans. Up until very recently, Lauren and her peers had little choice but to rack up more debt in order to earn their degree.