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      Is college worth the debt?

      H igh school graduation is almost here and many students are making plans for college or finding a job.

      Others are asking, is the price of higher education worth the debt?

      " I would tell any student that going to college and getting a degree is going to be worth it ," said Dan Garcia with WTAMU. "O ver the course of their lifetime they're going to earn about a million dollars more than someone who doesn't have a bachelors."

      A million dollars sounds pretty nice , but according to one report, student loan debt has reached $1 trillion-- more than the national credit card debt.

      H owever, Garcia says a little debt is worth it.

      " F or the average student going to college, they're going to earn about $66 thousand a year v erses someone with a high school d i ploma , which will earn probably $36-37 thousa n d a year."

      T o keep your costs down, think in-state.

      I t costs an in-state student around $3 ,346 a semester to go to WT.

      A nd an in-state student at Eastern New Mexico University around $2,175.

      But these cost do not include things like books and meals.

      Luckily, there here are some things you can do to avoid as much debt as possible.

      " T here's the federal student loan program that will help you get money to pay for school and the payments are deferred , " said John T. McElyea.

      Y ou pay off the loan after graduation , plus the new interest that has been added on.

      " A suggestion would be to go to your local bank and complete an application ," McElyea said. "T he bank will pull your credit and if you don't have any help you establish credit. One of the best ways to do that is to borrow your own money."

      H e says that is a safe way for young students to build credit while learning money management responsibilities.