Twin Ports graduates look to future... debt

By KBJR News 1

May 17, 2014 Updated May 17, 2014 at 10:54 PM CDT

Duluth, Minn. (NNCNOW.com) -- The sound of Pomp and Circumstance was heard by thousands of graduates around the Twin Ports on Saturday, signifying the end of one chapter and the start of another.

"Today's commencement ceremony represents a major milestone in the lives of men and women who are being recognized for their achievements," said University of Minnesota Duluth Chancellor, Lindley Black.

However, that achievement has set some students back thousands of dollars. One University of Wisconsin Superior graduate said she has about $50,000 worth of debt. Others have anywhere from $7-15,000 worth of debt.

On average, people who graduated from UMD in 2012 had $31,000 worth of debt, according to Project on Student Loan Debt .

Students who graduated from the University of Wisconsin Superior in 2012 had about $26,000 worth of debt.

Now the search is on to find a way to pay for it all.

"A lot of prospects, putting out applications and things like that, the education field is hard and it's a pretty limited area if you want to live around here," said UWS graduate, Michelle Bouman.

"I'm job searching pretty hard, they teach us to do that about 6 months prior to graduation so I'd say I have about 20 applications out waiting to hear back," said another UWS graduate, Jordan Titus.

All in all, most say the cost of their college education is worth the price.

"In the end I think it will be worth it because I'll be doing something that I love and it will be my career," said Elizabeth Mclaughlin, a UMD graduate.

"Education is priceless. I'll take it with me for the rest of my life nobody can ever take it away from me," said Bouman.

UW–Superior Staff say 95 percent of graduates find a job or continue their education.

Similarly, 96 percent of graduates from UMD found a job or continued their education after getting a bachelors degree.