Is a college education worth the student loans?

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student loans
FILE- In this June 15, 2018, file photo, twenty dollar bills are counted in North Andover, Mass. Default on your federal student loans and the government can take up to 15 percent of each paycheck to satisfy your debt. The Education Department can also withhold federal benefits like tax returns and Social Security payments. Garnishment is an effective tool to recoup unpaid loans, private collection agencies enlisted by the Education Department took in over $841.6 million via wage garnishment in the 2018 fiscal year, but it inflicts serious financial strain on borrowers who are already struggling. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File)

Students graduating from high school face one of the most critical decisions they will ever make: is college worth the ever-increasing cost?

That is why South Fort Myers High School hosted a career fair.

This time of year, graduating high school seniors have to decide whether to go to college or to go to work.

Deven Morales, South Fort Myers High School senior, is not alone as his classmates, Michael Hudson and Ethan Del Cueto, are choosing not to go to college and take on the student loans that come with it.

“There’s all sorts of great opportunities with welding, specifically, and it’s always a job that people are going to need,” Hudson said. “I feel like I have a good setup for the rest of my life.”

“Having to go ahead and be in debt and having to be harassed over and over by people wanting their money back,” Cueto said. “Honestly, I don’t want to live like that.”

Make Lemonade, a financial services website that tracks student loans, said more than 44 million Americans collectively carry more than $1.5 trillion in student debt.

Senior Rolando Justo said he is willing to pay the price to go to college. He said he needs four more years to prepare himself for a career in politics.

“I’d like to get a better understanding of what I’m trying to learn about,” Justo said. “I’m really into politics because I’m Cuban and it’s not the best place and I’d love to help my country.”

Another option other seniors choose is the military. Serve and up to 100 percent of your education expenses will be paid for by the federal government.

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