With undergrad and grad school, my debt was about $54,000 when I graduated in '98.
We've paid it down significantly ahead of schedule, so we're less than $20,000 now. If I paid it down on schedule, we would have ended up paying over $100,000 in payments by the time we were done.
I didn't have much choice other than taking out the loans - I wish though that someone would have explained that these would haunt us so long. SO many people (including financial aid office folks) kept assuring me, "Oh, you'll hardly ever get a loan at such low rates again, your student loan rates are so low" etc.
Also, my high school guidance counselor was a bust. I was a National Merit Finalist. I should have had dozens of schools offering me scholarships/tuition - I know where I went to grad school, the undergrads who were NMFs received free tuition. My guidance counselor didn't explain this to me, or my parents, my parents didn't know. I would have significantly less debt if I'd known to advocate for myself like that as an incoming freshman. I could have gone to many good colleges/universities for free as an undergrad, if anyone would have told me about this.