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College students borrowing more to pay for college

By HILARY LANE

CLINTON, N.Y. (WKTV) - For the first time ever, the amount of money students across the country borrow for college has surpassed $1 trillion.

Affording the high price of higher education has always been on the mind of Alexander DeMoulin. "I mean the thing is when I was a freshmen in high school my parents told me we can't afford college for you," says DeMoulin, a senior at Hamilton College. "You have to make sure you do well enough to go to a school that can afford for you to be there."

DeMoulin took out close to $20,000 worth of student loans and now holds 4 jobs to make sure he can afford to pay off the balance once he graduates .

Economist Stephen Wu says paying the sky high price for college is difficult for families who are impacted by the economic downturn of the past few years.

"As current times are difficult, people are losing their jobs that has made it more difficult for students to pay for college without having to take loans," says Wu.

Research shows college is an investment in the future. The average college graduate makes $550,000 dollars more than the average high school graduate during a lifetime. Also, the unemployment rate among college grads is half of what it is for people that never went on to a higher learning institution.

For DeMoulin, he says he'll pay back the loans in time, but he'll have his Hamilton College diploma forever. "So it seems like a huge amount but I am actually not worried," says DeMoulin. "I am confident that after Hamilton I'll be able to find a nice job and be able to start paying back."

If you have concerns about paying for college, contact the admissions office of the schools you are interested in. Some schools offer merit or need-based scholarships or grant you don't need to pay back.

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