To get work, you need qualifications. To get qualifications, you need money. To get money, you need work. That's just the way the world works where people want the best people for the job and to be compensated for their work.
There are three ways to break into this vicious cycle: volunteer, student loans or unskilled work. Volunteering means you need some other means of support along the way. Unskilled work will never pay as much as skilled work. That leaves student loans (or government-funded education) as the best way to increase your skilled workforce as a nation.
Mokalus of Borg
PS - We have a mixture of both here.
PPS - And there are problems with both models, too.