Grey skies couldn't dampen the mood of students at Michigan State University who got their diplomas today.
"I'm definitely ready to move on and excited for all that we have accomplished the past four years," said graduate David Hurley.
For some students part of moving on from graduation celebrations means it's time to start paying off student loans.
"About 48 percent of our students leave with educational debt," Michigan State President Lou Anna Simon said.
With the cost of education on the rise, the amounts many of these students have to pay off are not cheap.
"I think it's a little over $20,000," Hurley said.
"I will have about $40,000 worth of loans in one year," shared Nic Dziadosz, another graduate.
"About 10 grand," added Kayleigh Wilson.
These students are not completely in the dark, according to Simon the University is active in making students aware of what it will take to pay their loans.
"We advise them really early on as freshman to be cautious about putting education first and some of those things that are life-oriented second," Simon said.
One way college graduates are doing just that is having jobs lined up after graduation. But not everyone is joining the work force right away. For students like Hurley, who is looking at graduate school, their debt is just going to grow.
"I'm looking into the healthcare profession so a lot of debt comes with that but luckily it pays pretty well in the end," Hurley added.
That payoff is one reason why Economics Professor Charles Ballard says there is still value in pursuing higher education.
"As we've had this increase in debt some people have asked the question 'Is it worth it?' The answer is unquestionably yes," Ballard said.
Ballard says that's because college graduates tend to have higher salaries, ultimately making paying loans easier.
"Those students are better off than if they hadn't gone to college in the first place," Ballard added.
Even though some graduates are dealing with debt now, they're hoping it will pay off in the long-run.