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The class of 2011 is carrying more debt at graduation than any class before them.
The typical college student with student loans — two-thirds of all bachelor’s degree recipients this year — owes about $27,200, according to Mark Kantrowitz. That student’s parents have borrowed an additional $7,200, for a total debt of $34,400.
For those receiving associate’s degrees, the average is $9,200, plus $1,300 in parental debt, for a total debt of $10,500. This is actually less than those getting certificates: they average $10,900, plus $1,100 in parental debt, for a total debt of $12,000.
Given these high levels of debt, it’s especially important that those thinking of going back to school explore all possible sources of financial aid. Scholarships and grants, unlike loans, do not need to be repaid. Kantrowitz’s site, fastweb.com, can help you find scholarships you’re qualified for.