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College Graduates Enter the Real World With a Load of Debt

Mario Tama, Getty Images

Good for you, you’ve graduated!  Now what?  You enter the real world with a great education and lots of enthusiasm…and mounds of debt!

We should have taken a poll of SFA grads last Saturday as they walked across the stage to get their diplomas.  It varies of course, but the average college graduate leaves school with $35,200 in debt.

What caused all that debt?  Perhaps there are one too many pizzas, and three or four too many beverages on the credit card.  I mean, books!  It was the books that were expensive.  Not to mention the tuition, groceries, room and board.  College ain’t cheap!

According to a new study by Fidelity, the debt includes federal, state and private loans, plus debt owed to family and yes, credit card debt.  Here’s something unsettling; the rise in college costs has outpaced inflation by 5 percentage points annually over the past decade.

Many of the students involved in the debt study said they didn’t realize how quickly the debt was stacking up, and many of them said they would have made different choices if they had known they’d be stuck with more than $35,000 right out of college.

Note to high school graduates; save up, eat cheap, and use any money from Mom and Dad very wisely!  Maybe you can save yourselves ten grand.

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