It's getting harder and harder to obtain a college degree without debt — but not impossible.
The average outstanding student loan tab is $34,144, up 62 percent over the last decade, according to a report by Experian. Altogether, college loan balances in the United States have reached a record $1.5 trillion, according to a separate report by the Federal Reserve.
To avoid such a significant debt burden, more families are considering public schools because of the tuition discount. But even for in-state students, costs are rising significantly.
At public, four-year institutions, costs for the 2017-18 school year including room and board hit $20,770, according to the College Board. (Tuition plus room and board at four-year private universities was still much higher: $47,000, on average, in the recent academic year.)