Like the thousands of students at Southern Oregon University, Kylee Ruvalcaba has taken out loans to help pay for her college education.
And while she's currently in her third year, she's already thinking about how she's going to pay all of it back.
"It's a big deal not paying money back, so me and my mom are trying to set money aside, so when it's time to pay my loans I'll be full prepared," said Ruvalcaba.
The average student at S.O.U. pays $20,000 a year.
Meaning that if an in-state student graduates in the typical four years, they could be entering the work force with $80,000 already in debt.
There is an estimated 26 million Americans with ballooning student loans.
And now there are a record number of college graduates who are defaulting or are delinquent in paying back their loans.
"What we see more often than not is an economic hardship. We see students are maybe not able to find a job at the end, or sometimes students just want to take a year off before grad school," said Christina Negrete, Assitant Director of Finacial Aid at SOU.
Student loan debt is at an all time high.
Nationally the debt tops $870 billion, surpassing credit card debt and even auto loans.
A new study shows a third of former students are considered risky borrowers.
But Negrete says S.O.U. offers assistance to students and alumni who may need help.
"They can file for economic hardship or forbearance that way it can save their credit. There are loan repayment options and we council students on where they can find that information so they can make the decision after they graduate," Negrete explains.
That help is a sigh of relieve for Ruvalcaba who will soon face the real life lessons of economics that come after leaving college.