Given America's national unemployment rate of 8.5% (December 2011), some might advocate that in times like these, it's better to stay in school than to brave the job market. However, the 66% of 2010 graduates who left college in debt might say otherwise. Although higher education is still an advantage in the workforce, the price is steep: $25,250 on average, to be exact.
The exponential rise of student debt has been a growing problem in the last decade. Not only are students graduating with debt more frequently, but they are graduating with higher debt. As tuition costs rise due to state and local budget cuts for public schools and lack of federal student loan awareness in private schools, so do debt levels among recent graduates. The infographic below depicts historic trends in student debt, some of its root causes, and how to avoid debt as much as possible.
Although the White House claims to have legislation in the works to help student loan borrowers, we individuals need to fight educational budget cuts so we can prevent further student debt. You can contact your congressman or congresswoman about this issue here.