On Wednesday, Senate Republicans blocked a democratic bill to lower the cost of student loans.
And President Obama's new plan to cap monthly payments for certain federal student loans to 10 percent of the borrowers income has been criticized.
But Duncan told CNN that something must be done to combat the growing student loan crisis.
"The amount of angst this is causing, the stress this is causing on young people, their families, their parents is huge. As a nation, going to college is the most important thing folks can do to enter the middle class. Going to college has never been more important but sadly it's never been more expensive. And we have to address the massive cost of going to college. It can't just be for rich folks. This has to be the path to the middle class," he said.
Student loans have been in the spotlight as the amount of debt has skyrocketed.
Duncan says the president's executive order to cap payments is important, but more is needed to address the student debt problem.