Got a B.A. from one of my state's universities. Humanities. I never expected to use the degree for my career, so I could never justify debt for tuition, supplies, or cost of living. Folks paid for my first semester. Commercial fishing and good bacon construction as a young man allowed me cash to travel and to go to school full time one semester a year. Literature major, history minor. Took me 6 years.
I guess my point is: if you are pragmatic and willing/able to do less than comfortable work for money, student debt is avoidable.
I highly value my time spent both buying and earning my humanities degree, and I think my education, all A.A, B.A and similar level vocational training level public education should be available as a benefit of (and for) being a US citizen and long term permanant resident.
American science/engineering/tech industries in many major areas all have more jobs than people available in America. Another way to reduce or avoid debt for higher education.