you're going to get payback. With the job market weak, many young adults are choosing to go back to college for additional degrees or coursework that will keep them occupied through the downturn and make them a more attractive job candidate when times get better. It's not a bad idea. "But before spending the money, especially if you have to borrow it, get a good idea of how much additional income the degree will generate," says Kevin Meehan, financial planner at Summit Wealth Advisors in Itasca, Il. For example, Meehan says, it doesn't pay to borrow $100,000 for a private university education if your goal is to be a school teacher. You'll never be able to repay those loans. On the other hand, if you're studying medicine or the law you're additional earning power makes such debt a no-brainer.