I think there's a lot of misconception about subsidizing "useless" grad programs, like History PhD. Most of the programs I've heard of, at least the top ranked ones, offer full tuition, plus thousands and health care, for teaching undergrads. They can do that also because the school's endowment is huge. So I've met many who continue their education because it's the best option in a lousy economy. Even law and med school can be largely offset at top programs, so it's kind of an inverse of you get what you pay for.
Keep in mind too that sometimes the individual is entirely blameless, as when the recession hit, and people were in the middle of law school. What can they do then? They were *screwed* and employers won't come back to them if/when the market recovers. There is a huge amount of risk in starting down the path to $100k+ in loans though, with what we know now. Especially when that's not gonna be a top program, like I said. As with undergrad, I think some colleges will shut down once people catch on, if this trend continues. Debt = no spending power = economy tanks. It's bad for everyone