Students who are looking at prospective colleges might want to think a little more carefully about the total price they'll pay for that education when all is said and done.
The average college graduate had $37,172 in debt in 2016, a 6 percent increase from the year before, according to StudentLoanHero.com.
But many students focus on their top choices instead of the sticker price. And that price often comes with hidden costs, according to experts who help students evaluate loans.
"You shouldn't borrow more for your education than your first year's salary," said Mark Kantrowitz, a financial aid expert and writer at the website Private Student Loans Guru.