Going to college is a goal that many people have from a young age. People believe that going to college and getting a degree will give them a huge advantage when they enter the workplace. Salaries are supposed to be higher and jobs are supposed to be more attainable. But the truth is that a poor economy combined with rising college tuition costs has put many graduates at a significant financial disadvantage.

According to a recent report, college students who graduated in 2012 had significantly more debt than students who graduated in previous years. And students in New Hampshire are feeling this financial squeeze more than students in just about every other state.

The report was conducted by the Institute for College Access & Success. It was based on voluntary information from colleges, so there is some room for interpretation, especially considering that many of the schools that did not participate were schools that have a history of high debt levels among students. Little information was provided by for-profit colleges, so that should also be taken into consideration.

However, out of the 1,005 schools that did submit data, it was determined that student debt levels have increased from an average of $26,600 in 2011 to $29,400 in 2012. An average student in New Hampshire comes out of college with even more debt, as this state ranks second highest when it comes to student debt levels. Specifically, an average college student in New Hampshire graduates with $32,698 in debt.

This can be a very difficult start for young people who want to have a stable, financially-secure future. Some students may try to ignore it or decide there is nothing that can be done about the massive debt they face, but that is not true. There are debt relief options available to any person who is struggling with debt, including those with student loans, which typically cannot be discharged by filing for bankruptcy protection. Working with an attorney can be an effective way of exploring relief options and taking steps toward a more secure financial future.

Source: Huffington Post, “Average Student Debt limbs To $29,400, Up 3 Percent In Less Than A Decade: Study,” Tyler Kingkade, Dec. 4, 2013