NEW YORK (MainStreet) - Even with a bad economy and a tough job market, 89% of recent college graduates say their education was worth the time and money, according to a new report.

The American Council on Education surveyed 400 college graduates nationwide between the ages of 25-39 and found that not only do the vast majority believe their education was a good investment, but 80% said they would attend the same university all over again.

“We are delighted to learn that they have a positive view of their experiences,” said Molly Corbett Broad, the council’s president, in a press release. Indeed, other figures in academia have already come out to praise these findings as a sign of the quality of a college education.

The report’s findings are surprising, to say the least, given the rising cost of college and the high unemployment, especially among young people.

For starters, college tuition has consistently increased in recent years, with a record number of schools around the country now charging $50,000 or more for a year’s tuition.

Increasing costs have in turn led to an increase in the average amount of student loan debt in the U.S., as families are forced to borrow more money to pay the cost of tuition. But, because the economy is still lagging and unemployment remains near 10%, graduates are having a tougher time landing a decent job, meaning more difficulty paying back their debt and more loan defaults.

So how can recent graduates say they would go to college all over again when they can’t even afford to pay the first time around?

Part of the problem with this study may simply be the sample. The students surveyed here are between the ages of 25 and 39, but realistically, the students who are probably the most frustrated with their college experiences are those between 22 and 25. Those are the students who actually graduated during the recession, and something tells me they would have a slightly more negative opinion about college.

For a few colleges that are worth the cash, check out MainStreet’s roundup of universities that offer the greatest return on investment.

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