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Graduates React to Student Loans

IOWA CITY, IA (CBS 2/FOX28)--Thousands of students from the University of Iowa walked across the stage to get their degrees Saturday night.

For many though, with graduation comes paying back large student loans.
Parents, brothers and sisters, and most of all, graduates. Its a day they've all been waiting for.

"I'm super excited to see what the future holds, said graduate, Nicholas Lopez.

"Pumped! Totally worth it, Kendra Lacina who also just graduated.

For some though, six months from now is the day of reckoning. Or the time to start calculating just how far in debt they really are.

"Maybe like 20,000, said another grad, Sarah Martin.

"I'd probably say 20 to 30 thousand, Lacina said.

That's the story of many students in America.

Just this Tuesday, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York reported that student debt rose by 31 billion from January to March, bringing the overall amount of student debt to 1.1 trillion.

Of course, there are those who have nothing to worry about.

"Well I was in the army for four years so now I'm on the post 911 GI Bill so I'm fortunate in that the army helps me out, said recent grad Alex, Odendahl.

"I was fortunate enough to get a few scholarships and some government financial aid so I'm coming out debt free, Lopez said.

For those with loans the question is, is that diploma really worth it?

"Yes most definitely. Because in the long run, I'll have better education and hopefully get a decent job, said Martin.

"The experience wise yes. Totally worth it. If I use my degree yes totally worth it right now, it's overwhelming because I don't know how much it is, but definitely worth it, I think in the end, Lacina said.

But this moment really isn't about counting debt; it's about celebrating a huge accomplishment and looking ahead to the future.

"I'm excited for grad school. I loved undergrad but I'm done, it's time to move on, said Odendahl.

"Go Hawks, love Iowa, said Lopez.

Student loans are the second largest source of the debt in America today, number one is mortgage debt.
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