WASHINGTON — Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke says students need to be careful when investing in their education.
Bernanke said taking on debt to pay for college can be an important way to increase one’s earning potential. But higher education can become a financial burden if it doesn’t lead to a good job, he warned.
“You’ve got to make smart investments,” Bernanke said at a meeting at the Fed with teachers from across the country.
Student loan debt has steadily increased since the Great Recession and totaled more than $900 billion in March, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York reported.
Bernanke said students should know what kind of jobs and salaries they can expect to acquire with their degrees before taking out loans.
A college degree can make a big difference for job seekers.
The unemployment rate for college graduates was 4.1 percent in July, well below the national rate of 8.3 percent and the rate of 8.7 percent for those with only a high school diploma.