Each year colleges accept more and more students, but most students can't afford to pay for school right out of their own pocket.
Student loan debt hovers over $1.2 trillion dollars in the U.S. and high interest rates aren't helping. One North Dakota State University nursing student is already feeling financial stress and still has six more years of school.
Amber Schmidt works at HIT, Inc. in Mandan during the summer gaining experience and paying bills. But, like many college students she says her loans are stressing her out.
"It's just a scary situation, especially only being 21. I have, you know, only $30,000 in school debt. It's scary to think about what's going to happen," said Schmidt.
Schmidt says her debt is piling up and the federal government isn't helping her enough.
"I just feel like I'm being shorted because I'm not having kids or getting married and there's nothing wrong with that it's just because I'm on a different path. I don't get anything from the government for assistance," said Schmidt.
NDSU Student Financial Services Jeff Jacobs said, "It's really a misnomer because there's not a magic pot there's a very limited amount of dollars that families can go to in order to pay those education expenses."
Third year undergrad students like Schdmit are only able to borrow $7,500 from the federal government at an interest rate of more than 4.5 percent. No more than $5,500 can be given with out interest. the loans are less and the rates even higher for graduate students
"Oh, I don't plan on getting out of college without $100,000 in loans," said Schmidt.
Her estimate is higher than the average student debt loan of $29,400, but in a few years that average could increase even more.
"You know if federal and congress is in a, you know, in a position where tax payers are asking them to cut funds I would say there's probably going to be even less money to work with," said Jacobs.
Which makes finishing college and living out of debt afterwards even tougher.
students who are struggling to pay their debt should seek help from their schools financial service offices. for more information on federal student aid visit studentaid.ed.gov.