CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The cost of college is skyrocketing, but a new survey shows more than half of college seniors don't know how they're going to afford their education.
The survey is by the Credit Union National Association and asked 847 high school seniors if they were planning on taking on student loans, and how much they expected their debt to be once graduated.
Half said they didn't know how much they would owe.
NBC Charlotte took that question to area students at Mallard Creek High School. Some students knew how they would pay for college, others, like senior Andrew Sims, were less sure.
Sims plans to attend East Carolina University in the fall.
"I'm thinking about how am I going to pay for this afterwards," said Sims. School counselor, Jeanette Hummel isn't surprised by the results of the survey. "I don't think that they understand that after four years they might have a great job and, you know, there's a college degree on the wall, but the aftermath they're going to be paying back those loans for 15 plus years. And that puts them in a place in debt and a place where they can't enjoy the college degree."
Hummel encourages students to start thinking about college financing in their junior year of high school.
She also says parents and students should spend time discussing debt and financial obligations, something that Andrew Sims seems to already understand.
"I'm just going to have to find a job and work my butt off after college," he said.