Of the more than 100 young adults USA Today canvassed, 68 percent said the experience was worth the cost and 44 percent said the value exceeded the cost.
"I would pay double to go back and (re-live) my college experiences," said Atlanta consultant Dipesh Shah, 23, an Emory University graduate with at least $100,000 in student loan debt.
Sixty percent said if they could do it over again they would "absolutely" monitor spending more closely.
Brian Lee, 27, of Hacienda Heights, Calif., who owes more than $90,000 in loans and credit cards, says "luxuries like eating out and fancy gadgets" added significantly to his debt load.
But 65 percent said they would not go to a less expensive school to avoid the debt.
"I may not have had any undergraduate loans if I had gone to a state school, but I (would not) have the pride or prestige that I have for going to a 'name-brand' school," says Northwestern University graduate Tammy Hellings, 26, of Momence, Ill., who owes more than $30,000. "I still think that it was worth every penny."