Editors' pick: Originally published May 19.
Congratulations, college graduates. You've got fresh diplomas in hand and a keen eye on making your mark in the world, as generations before you have done in exactly the same situation.
But there's a big difference - previous generations of college graduates didn't owe nearly as much as a 2016 college grad will owe on his or her student loan, and that scenario will have a ripple effect on today's college students.
According to the website Student Loan Hero, the average class of 2016 graduate now has $37,172 in student loan debt -- a 6% increase since 2015. Compare that to 1996, when the average college graduating senior faced only $12,850 in student loan debt, according to The Institute of College Access and Success. Thus, it's no wonder that 37% of U.S. college graduates will be back bunking with mom and/or dad, according to data from the American Institute of CPAs.
Virtually all of those surveyed in that demographic told study researchers that "high student debt" was to blame for their living situation.
Financial experts contacted by TheStreet say those "prodigal" sons and daughters are hardly to blame. In fact, some consider a move back with the folks a smart financial move.
"Today's boomerang kid effect is a positive sign that college graduates are financially conscious of their new debt and are showing responsibility in wanting to be prepared for their financial future," says Leslie Tayne, author of the book Life or Debt and founder of the New York City-based legal services firm Tayne Law Group P.C.
Tayne offers some good guideposts for parents and college graduates once again sharing the same roof and insists that setting some good rules in place is her top priority. "Before your child moves back home, it's important to have a plan set for them," Tayne advises. "Establish guidelines and boundaries - how long do you expect them to live with you, will they be paying rent, and will they be contributing to new bills like the phone bill? Then, have a conversation with your child about these expectations before he or she moves in so everyone is on the same page to avoid confrontation."
While a college grad son or daughter is back at home, Tayne also urges parents to use the time wisely and educate their offspring on how best to get them back on their feet, financially.
"While Millennials may be good at saving, parents should help provide their children with guidance and direction," she says. "Some college grads may not be ready to handle all of their debt at once. It's not a parent's job to help pay their debt but to help them get through it."