May 28, 2012
In this Monday, May 7, 2012 photo, Chad Larsen Stauber, center, a student teacher at the Lafayette School in Chicago, works with students Devion Allen, left, and Jovante Ross, on their reading skills. The 26-year-old who just received his master's degree in education knows that later in 2012, he'll have to start paying off debt of about $100,000. "This is going to be looming over my head the next 20 years," Larsen-Stauber says.
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It's a time when hope collides with economic reality, when the relief of that last class and the thrill of holding that diploma give way to the next big step — finding a job. For the Class of 2012, the optimism of graduation is clouded by the uncertain aftermath of the worst economic slide since the Depression.