Many students rely on thousands of dollars in student loans to afford postsecondary education, and these loans can be a challenge to pay back. According to the Project on Student Debt, average student debt rose by eight percent between 2011 and 2012, while the annual unemployment rate for recent college graduates remained above pre-recession levels. Several factors influence the prevalence of educational debt among college graduates. Although high tuition costs are often correlated with increased debt, this is not always the sole reason students take on debt. Other reasons include inadequate grant and scholarship programs, the cost of living and the student’s level of financial need.