US student debt tops $1 trillion

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HOUSTON, TX – Here’s a question for you: how much is a good education worth? Fifty-thousand dollars? One-hundred-thousand? More?

According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, student debt in the U.S. has climbed to a staggering $1 trillion dollars. No joke. That’s a one with twelve — count ’em, twelve — zeros behind it. And with the economy barely ticking along, the question is: how are students going to pay it back?

“I’d imagine a lot of students kind of have the ideas you know, ‘I just want to get a bachelor and at least, you know, give it a try, hopefully I’ll be that small percentage that does find a really good job and be able to pay off those loans quick,'” University of Houston student Alan Resendez says.

On average, students take on $30,000 in loans and pay back 48. Assuming a simple interest rate of 5%, that means today’s $1 trillion debt will cost one-and-a-half times that amount in interest alone over the next 10 years. Meaning that by 2024, today’s education will have cost 2.5 trillion dollars. And with few jobs available you have to wonder, is it worth it?

“That’s a tough question,” UH student Faizan Ahmed says. “I mean, I guess it depends on your career path and how successful you end up becoming.”

It’s not a question for Lorraine Foix. “It is worth it,” she says, “because you get a comprehensive education.”

So kids, better sit up and pay attention. The class you’re sitting in ain’t cheap. And you may be paying for it a long time to come.