Student Loan Debt Surging

By Joe Gullo

Published 03/25 2014 01:21PM

Updated 03/25 2014 01:22PM

Student loan debt is surging and it's not just undergrads. A new study shows people going back to school for a graduate degree are really paying the price.

Undergraduates, you've got some company. You're not the only one leaving school with a mountain of debt. In fact, graduate students are taking out even bigger loans. More than $57,000 to be exact.

That's the median debt load for a student with a graduate degree, anything from an MBA, to a master's, medical or law degree.

And that 57,000 is up from 40,000 in 2004, a 43% increase, according to the New America Foundation.

There are a few factors at play. Schools have raised prices, partly because they're getting less aid from state governments. Some people lost their savings in the recession and have to borrow more these days. Also, many undergraduates are having a hard time finding work, so they're going back to school for a higher degree.

That could add to an already existing debt load, but some say it's worth it, because in the long-run, there's a return on investment in the form of higher earnings. Many students believe grad school will give them a leg up when they start looking for a job.

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