College Student Debt 101 copyStudents in the United States spend more on higher education than those in any other country. But something is wrong with our system when an overwhelming majority of graduating seniors are carrying significant debt and an equally overwhelming number of students don’t graduate at all.

In the graduating class of 2012, 70% carried student loan debt with an average of $29,400 per student. Two-thirds of all graduating seniors entered the workforce with hefty bills to pay right away.

But there are some resources and options available to students who need help paying for school. Students who are serving, have served, or are married to a member of the armed forces have tremendous education benefits to draw upon.

For those who haven’t finished getting a degree, there are options like online education that allow you the flexibility to work full or part time and go to school on your own schedule.

According to a study by Georgetown University, in 2012 employees with a Bachelor’s degree or higher earned twice as much as those with some college/associates degree or a high school education (or less). By the year 2020, it’s predicted that at least 65 percent of all jobs will require at least some college education.

And even though the job market can seem scary, an average four-year college graduate experiences less unemployment and earns a larger salary than someone with no degree or a two-year degree. In 2012, the unemployment rate for high school graduates was 17.9 percent – more than twice that of college graduates.

Earning power aside, there’s a lot to be said for learning: confidence, an expanded social circle, exposure to new and different ideas are all very positive things. It might be tempting to balk at the idea of spending or borrowing money to go to school, but an education is a far better investment than nearly anything else.


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