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(NAPS) -- Millions of students are pursuing a college degree in the hope that it leads to a successful career and a meaningful life. It can seem like the only way to a stable financial future. But is it really? The decision to go to college might seem like an easy choice for some high school graduates; for others it could be challenging, especially if they can't easily afford it.
There are many ways to pay for college, including student loans. In considering whether to take out a loan to invest in one's future and thereby capture financial gains, it's helpful to view the process like businesses that borrow funds to invest in expanding their productive capacity. Details matter; how much borrowed can increase or decrease return on investment.
Many students don't understand how student loan debt will impact financial stability after graduation. According to the U.S. Department of Education, as of the end of August 2015, about 7 million Americans with student loans have not made a payment to the government in a year or more.
There are several ways to reduce the amount of money borrowed for higher education. Regardless of the approach, it's important to investigate the cost of education for a given career choice and potential ability to pay off any student debt taken on. In the end, choosing a college or any posthigh school institution is an intensely personal decision for individual students and their families.
Junior Achievement, the world's leading nonprofit economic education organization, has created a free guide that parents and teens can use to gain a better understanding of making the right choices when it comes to student loans. This guide, "Understanding the Student Loan Explosion," can be found at www.JA.org/Influencer.