Stu­dent loan debt is increas­ingly the front-​​and-​​center con­cern in the lives of young Amer­i­cans. As col­lege grad­u­ates are looking to take the next step in begin­ning their career, many are sad­dled with large amounts of debt. Although there are plans to help new grad­u­ates pay stu­dent loans, many have grown wary of bor­rowing money for a college. 

It may seem to be a dif­fi­cult, and pos­sibly fool­hardy, deci­sion to use stu­dent loans to fund an edu­ca­tion, but there’s mounting evi­dence that in the long run, it pays off. Some indi­vid­uals may find the amount of debt they need to take on daunting, but it can pos­sibly lead to high paying, and enjoy­able career options. The Alliance for Edu­ca­tion (2011) finds that, on average, high school grad­u­ates nation­wide earned on average $27,380 in 2009 while grad­u­ates of four-​​year col­lege degree pro­grams earned an average $46,930 that year.

While the amount of money earned can go up depending on the level of edu­ca­tion someone has, unem­ploy­ment rates can decrease steadily as well. The BLS (2012) reports that nation­wide high school grad­u­ates have an unem­ploy­ment rate of 8.3 per­cent which falls to 6.2 per­cent among those who earn an asso­ciate degree. These unem­ploy­ment num­bers gen­er­ally only get smaller with pro­gres­sively more advanced degrees.

Read more in the visual below to learn about average stu­dent loan debt and how earning a col­lege degree may still be well worth the time and money.

Read the article at Online Colleges →