Student Loan Debt – a Rising Tide

Student loan debt rose more than credit card debt for the first time last year and is likely to top a trillion dollars this year. With Pennsylvania’s higher education funding cut in Pennsylvania for next year, local students could feel an even heavier burden.

Two-thirds of bachelor’s degree recipients graduated with debt in 2008, compared with less than half in 1993, according to the New York Times. Last year, graduates who took out loans left college with an average of $24,000 in debt.

“I started doing architecture and then moved to teacher. I attended Pennsylvania University and ended up at Millersville,” said Teacher Nick Swartz.

“I had to pay 30,000$ and it takes about 10 years from graduation to pay off. But money wasn’t an issue at the time in High School. I got some academic scholarship but if I could do it all over again I would have more academic scholarship. Is just that I wasn’t in the real world,” he added.

But it may be worth it.

Student Loan Debt. Photo courtesy of

In 2008, the median earnings of a bachelor’s degree recipient were almost $22,000 more per year than a high-school graduate. And lifetime – college grads earn 65 percent more than high school grads.

With more students borrowing money for college, student loan debt in the U.S. is now greater than credit card debt, but according CBS News correspondent Dean Reynolds reports, it’s still a smart investment.

” I plan on going into college and being $50,000 in debt. It is going to be bad paying 16,000 a year, but it doesn’t surprise me how credit card debt is now lower than college debt,” said senior Tyler Beckley.

According to, a consumer credit advocate, which released its U.S. Credit Score Climate Report with trend data for April 2011, student loan debt increased over last year.

In fact, nationally, average student loan debt per consumer increased six percent since April 2010 to $29,572.

The debt is building higher and higher while the paychecks parents and students are receiving are remaining the same. Students and their families are just going to have to deal with it, according to senior Darius Howard.

“You gotta do whatcha gotta do,” he said.