With horror stories of college graduates entering into an economic world where jobs are scarce, it is not surprising that those with a few years until graduation are feeling a bit anxious.
As reported in the Bureau of Labor Statistics monthly review for March, in 2008 the unemployment rate of college graduates rose 1.2 percent to 3.3 percent, the biggest peak since 1992.
"Sometimes college seems like an expensive hobby," Rochester Institute of Technology student Linda Betts said? "I don't know if paying to attend school will even be worth it after graduation."
Betts, who is an interior design/environmental studies major, echoes the same fears that many students have: Will college be worth all of the debt and yield a career when it comes time to graduate?
Melanie Park, an advertising major at Kent State University, said she hopes that the economy is better by the time she graduates (likely in 2012) and she isn't really too worried about it now.
"Right now, I'm just trying to save as much money as I can," she said.
Like many students, Park said she is paying for most of college with loans and she expects that she will be in a considerable amount of debt when she graduates.
Betts said many of her future plans are contingent on finances, particularly the amount of money she will owe post-graduation.
"As much as I would love to go on for more education, it might not be feasible with the expenses," she said.
While Betts said she finds her plans for graduate school to be up in the air because of money, more education appears to be a route many students take after graduating.
A May article in the Wall Street Journal reported that graduate school applications went up 8 percent since the year before.
Betts said she is remaining optimistic about her future, but is not underestimating the amount of work she is going to have to do.
"My field of choice is competitive," she said, "so I will just have to work harder to be successful."
Ralph Ord, a history major at Westminster College, said he doesn't believe the economy will effect his future because there is always a high demand for teachers.
Ord said he expects to be in debt because of the high cost of his school, but he doesn't think he will have too much of a problem paying it off.
Ord said he is not as worried about his ecomonic future as he is about that of the country. Unlike the others, Ord said one of the main things he can do now for the future involves politics.
"I can go out and vote for politicians who will support policies that will agree with my point of view," he said.
Park also said her fears about the future have a little to do with the nation's economic state, rather than her own.
"I think it might be hard to find a job since the economy is so bad and a lot of companies are failing," she said.
Sarah Tannler, a biology and medical technology major at Penn State Behrend, said she is also worried about the current economic state, in particular the rising prices.
"I am a little worried about having enough money to buy all of the things I need and to pay off loans," she said.
While Tannler is worried about money, she said she doesn't think the economic slump will effect her future career.
"The demand for medical technologists is high as of right now and it is expected to stay that way for the next few years," she said.
In spite of the fears and concerns of current students, numbers from the BLS seem to suggest that getting a college education may still increase the chances of employment.
In 2008, the unemployment among high school graduates who did not attend college rose 2.4 percent, making it 7 percent. This is 3.7 percent more than the rate among those who have graduated from college.
These students are still three years away from graduating, so now all they can do is work hard and save money, but all know it is hard to predict the future.
"Planning ahead can only do so much when future goals depend on finances," Betts said. "Right now, I am just working for the summer, saving up and hoping for the best outcome."