Posted by Jonathan Tse
Thousands of college students have borrowed too much and doomed themselves to lives of big bills and collectors' calls. But thousands, perhaps millions, of other Americans have been so scared of debt that they've avoided or quit college altogether and likewise doomed themselves to financial struggles. The research is clear: A bachelor's degree, while no guarantee of success, is often a credential needed to win a good job, a raise, a promotion, or even employer-provided health insurance.
The answer then, most financial analysts say, is for students who can find no other way to pay for college to take out modest student loans—no more than $5,000 a year, say—while also cutting costs and working part time (no more than 15 hours a week during the school year) to limit the need for cash. The average recent college graduate with debt owes a total of $21,000, which analysts say should be payable for most of them.
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