American university students are beginning the new year with a mountain of debt. There is now $850bn owed in outstanding tuition costs and paying back the money is an ongoing challenge.
Two in every three American students graduate with loans outstanding and the current debt is 11 times the total it was just two decades ago.
Experts say a college degree is an important investment, but in a difficult job market it is an investment that could take a lifetime to pay off.
Al Jazeera's Tom Ackerman reports.