High school grads without college degrees faced an unemployment rate of 17.9% in 2012, compared to 7.7% for young college graduates.
As always, some schools leave students with more debt than others -- typically those with the highest tuition.
"Despite discouraging headlines, a college degree remains the best route to finding a job in this tight market.
But students and families need to know that debt levels can vary widely from college to college," TICAS president Lauren Asher said in a statement.
So it's important to shop around before shelling out your life savings for an education.Average debt by college ranged from as little as ,450 to ,450 in 2012, while the percentage of students with loans also varied from 6% to 100%, TICAS found.To make matters worse, the job market still hasn't recovered, leaving many graduates with little or no income.Still, the employment prospects of college grads are a lot better than those without college education. The organization noted that its 2012 report is more comprehensive -- based on federal data that includes all four-year colleges collected every four years.
In the years in between, averages are based on information provided voluntarily by colleges.