Morning Joe, 5/3/13, 8:22 AM ET

As student loans increase, is college worth it?

Former DNC Chairman Howard Dean and former Secretary of Education Bill Bennett break down the pros and cons of mounting student loan debt.

Is college worth the cost?

Updated

With the nation’s student loan debt rising more than $2,800 per second, families must be smart about higher education. The average loan rate is $25,000, said former Secretary of Education Bill Bennett.

In his new book, “Is College Worth It?,” co-author Bennett urges students to think about college before they make the first deposit to the institution. They must consider the college or university, their areas of study, the cost, and post-graduation loans.

The country’s total student loan debt is $1 trillion and counting.

“If you’re not directed in the right directions toward the things that will give you some kind of positive return, you could end up with no job and a lot of debt,” said Bennett, who has a Ph.D. in philosophy, Friday on Morning Joe.

High-priced schools raise tuition and fees much more than inflation and family income increase, said Steve Rattner, the Morning Joe economic analyst.

“You shouldn’t go to some very, very expensive private college when you could go to a state school for a much lower price, and, the studies would show, do every bit as well later in life,” he said.

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Is college worth the cost?

Updated