You seem a bit judgmental. I remember a time when college education was much more affordable. I also worked full time while I was in school and paid my way through my RN and BSN degrees. But that was all a very long time ago. Most available non-professional jobs these days don't pay enough for young people to work and fully pay for today's college costs out of pocket. And newer accreditation rules no longer allow most health science programs to give students very long to complete their credits anymore either. So, dragging things out while you work to save and do a class here and there in between is no longer a strategy that works for most in modern academia. If a student hasn't finished the degree within x number of years the validity of certain credits become null, and the student has to re-take these credits in order to meet the graduation requirements.
According to you, if a student inquires about student loan forgiveness programs before applying for a loan this means that the student doesn't intend to repay the loan. This is not true. You pride yourself on being a good planner, so you should appreciate that good financial planning means carefully researching all of one's options before making major financial commitments. Student loan forgiveness programs are not a freebie for the new graduate. He or she is trading part of payment for their labor in exchange for a reduction of their student loan balance. This deal works ok form some, but not so great for others---for a variety of reasons.
Students are still being sucked in by the misinformation about college education and student loans. The law requires that they are educated about borrowing this money before they receive it but most still don't really understand. The lenders are charging interest on the loan amounts from day one, and a few thousand dollars easily becomes many thousands of dollars after several years. And a big surprise is waiting for the borrower after graduation when the payments become due.
We don't know for a fact that most graduates default because they never intended to repay from the start. It is possible that many looked for a long time and couldn't find jobs that pay enough for them to pay back the loans AND live on without having to scrounge, so they gave up. Sure, many nurses make decent money---IF they can find a job. In many areas getting a job as a new grad RN isn't so easy anymore. And the pay isn't always so great either. Also, many, MANY new RNs decide after only a short time that they hate bedside nursing and either go back to school or quit the field entirely and take a lower paying job doing something else that they like more. But they still have to pay back the loans, perhaps with even less income, or take out new loans to pursue a different career. There are many variables.
For-profit, or not, college, and the co-conspirator textbook publishers, and the student loan hawks are a major con job on the nation's youth. And government intervention to prevent delinquent borrowers from earning an income was an extremely bad idea, but I'm not surprised that it came from Florida---the worst state in the union for nurses.