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PHOENIX -- For some college graduates it will be hard to see how bright the future is when they are drowning in debt.

According to a report by The Institute for College Access and Success, two-thirds of college seniors who graduated in 2011 had student loan debt, with an average of $26,600 per borrower.

Meanwhile, unemployment for young college graduates remained high at 8.8 percent in 2011. Research was gathered from more than 1,000 colleges and universities across the nation.

"Many of them are graduating with more than $100,000 of debt," said Dale Walters, CEO of KeatsConnelly, a wealth management firm.

Walters said that thought makes him cringe.

"Most definitely does. You look at return on investment and the cost has gotten so high, it's hard to get a decent return on investment."

Walters urged parents who expect their child to further their education, to begin planning and saving early. For college grads, "make sure you make your payments, not only on your students loans, but everything else. Take care of your credit rating. Don't get into more debt too fast by buying a car or house too soon. Be patient."

Sandra Haros , Reporter

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