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At Top Colleges Online, we believe that education is important but that the cost of education and the large amounts of debt that most students take on are major problems. To highlight the problem we designed an infographic titled The Walking Debt, to emphasize that students today are caught in a catch-22: either become slaves to debt, or forego an education and limit your possibilities.
In this infographic we took student surveys about student loan debt to learn more about how debt affects students psychologically. 79% of young people surveyed believe that obtaining a college education now is more important than when their parents were growing up. But experts are mixed on whether college pays off, especially since a college degree no longer guarantees employment and over 9% of recent graduates (2010 recent graduates faced the highest unemployment rate for young college graduates in recent history).
76% of young people surveyed believe it has gotten harder to afford college in the last five years. Only 21% of young people surveyed believe students graduate with a manageable amount of college loan debt. The average student debt of new college graduates in 2010 was $22,900 as compared to only $7,000 in 2000. In other words, the average student debt in 2010 is 47% more than in 2000, even when adjusted for inflation.
Nearly 9 in 10 young people support increasing financial aid and making student loans more affordable. But some people believe that government help has actually been instrumental in creating the college debt bubble. To reduce the U.S. deficit, some politicians propose 2012 fiscal cuts that would affect the Pell Grant. 75% of young people do not want to see Pell Grants cut as a way to reduce the deficit.