We're nearing the end of August, and that means the start of college.
Most students in Michigan face higher tuition this year, and many have been busy this month taking out loans.
Students entering their junior and senior years know they already face a tough job market when they graduate, but not taking out loans isn't an option for many, not with higher tuition.
Most Michgian public universities increased tuition by four percent or less this year; Grand Valley State University students will pay 3.7 percent more when they start classes on Monday.
Tuition and fees are now $10,078 a year for undergraduates.
Over at Calvin College, tuition rose 4.5 percent to $26,480, and at Aquinas College, students will pay $25,250 for the year, a 3.2 percent increase.
GVSU Financial Aid Director Michelle Rhodes says her staff has been flooded with calls from students seeking help with loans.
According to Rhodes, during the 2011-2012 school year, 72 percent of students took out loans, a two percent increase from 2010-2011.
They also borrowed an average of $1,600 more in 2011-1212 compared to 2010-2011.
Of students who took out loans, the average student with a four year degree left with $26,912 in debt last spring.
Lauren MCillrath is now a first year grad student, but her undergraduate degree from GVSU left her with $31,000 in loans. That's the maxium amount allowed.
"I try to not let it worry me. I know for a fact that to get any education you have to come out of pocket if you're not filthy rich. So I had to take out loans at any point," she said.
"Some of them are really extreme cases with a lot of debt and a lot of borrowing," said Rhodes. "But most students, they really pay attention to what they borrow, they like to ask questions, they like to know how much debt they're getting into before they take out loans."
"Right now, I try to stay positive and not think I'm going to be struggling with half of my loans. I like to think that it's possible with a full-time job. I think with a social work degree it's not going to be very easy," said Taylor Krohn, a senior majoring in social work.