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Student Loan Debt: TopCollegesOnline Infographic

With the unemployment rate for recent college graduates on the rise, some question whether higher education is really worth the trouble, especially when it comes to student loan debt. The average graduate owes  nearly $23K when they complete their education, yet there’s no guarantee that they’ll find work to start repaying the loans when they become due. It’s a debate that hits home for many households, and one that’s likely to intensify as universities increase their fees.

 

Experts believe that going to college does pay more over time. Earnings of high-school graduates and college degree holders were compared, and showed that those with a degree earn nearly double the salary of a person with only a high school diploma over the course of a lifetime. This is good news for colleges looking to lure in new recruits, but is doesn’t help students feel better about the increasing costs. Over 75 percent of young people who participated in a study said that college simply is not affordable.

 

Aside from loans, there are other ways to pay for an education including pell grants and scholarships. It’s best to apply for as many free programs as possible before applying for loans, and be sure to read the fine print before making any final financial agreements.