There actually was a "student of love". She was a young friend of Gary's and Dave's who may have actually dated Gary (and or Dave) in 1977. Gary had lost contact with her by the time the Clams had formed in '78 but he was obviously still thinking of her. She reappeared around the time of the album release, and probably knew she was the subject of "suicide note". In fact, Al Spero moved in next to her, and she became friends with his wife. The song "student of love" is not really about her so much as the fact that Gary really liked the chorus from "suicide note" and wanted to do more with it. From all accounts, she was not as hard as her namesake in the song.
"Time of troubles", on the other hand is directly about her. It was written when Gary learned by hearsay of the unfortunate death of her younger brother. By this time he was married and was conflicted about his inability to go to her side. He also felt weird about the strange premonition in the title of "suicide note".
There are at least three other songs about her by my count. The early pets concert hi-lite "high school girls" was certainly inspired by her (she was a high school senior when she met Gary). "How It will be" is a true account of an Independence Day telephone conversation she had with Gary. And the lyric of "no happy endings" alludes directly to the "borderline" and "your world and mine" images of "suicide note," leading me to conclude that she is the subject of this song as well.
Applegate claims he copped the imagery here to talk about several different failed relationships; making this only partially a "student "song.
After the tragedy of her brother's death she moved away (to Texas it seems). None of the Clams or their friends have had contact with her since then.
She has been in contact and now lives on the west coast. Out of respect for her privacy, I will not go into any further detail.