Read

User menu

Search form

5 Things To Know About The Dire State Of Student Debt In America

5 Things To Know About The Dire State Of Student Debt In America
Tue, 2/25/2014 - by Matthew Zeitlin
This article originally appeared on Buzzfeed

The total student debt in the United States recently passed the $1 trillion mark, so it’s little surprise that it has become one of the chief financial and even political issues for young people. A recent survey found that 79% of 18- to 29-year-olds considered student debt to be a “major or minor problem” and that the concern was consistent across party lines.

A new study authored by New America Foundation senior analyst Ben Miller shows that the average debt load for graduating students has been growing — and quickly. Using data collected from the Department of Education, Miller found a “predictably dire picture” for students who graduated in 2012, the last year that the DOE’s study covered. Here are some of the most important details:

1.There are 800,000 more indebted college graduates than there were eight years ago.

As the number of college graduates has increased, so has the number who are graduating carrying at least some debt. Miller estimates that there were 800,000 more indebted college graduates in 2011–2012 than there were in 2003–2004. The number, he estimates, went from 1.6 million to 2.4 million.

2.The average tab for an indebted college graduate is $29,400. The average annual income for a working adult between 25 and 34 is $37,524.

That figure is the highest ever. And it has increased 20% over four years. Nearly 70% of bachelor’s degree recipients in 2012 had some student debt, also the highest ever.

3.More college students are borrowing, no matter what type of degree they’re getting.

For all types of undergraduate degrees — bachelor’s, associate, and certificates — the percentage of degree recipients borrowing has gone up over the last four and eight years. The biggest jump has been in associate degrees, from only 36.4% of graduates borrowing in 2004 to almost half in 2012.

4.Students who complete degrees at for-profit colleges are way more likely to graduate with more debt than their public school counterparts.

“There is still significant variation depending on the type of school a graduate attended,” Miller writes. The biggest difference is between students going to public institutions and for-profit private ones: “42 percent of students earning an associate degree at a… public college borrow. This is less than half the rate of students seeking similar degrees at private for-profit colleges, where nearly nine in ten students graduate with debt.”

While the average amount of debt is going up for borrowers regardless of what type of college they attend, the average debt for students who get a degree at private or for-profit institutions is growing faster.

5.The most indebted students are more indebted than ever.

While the median borrower’s debt has more than doubled from eight years ago, borrowers in the 90th percentile — those who borrowed more than 90% of graduates that year — have had a $12,000 increase in total debt.

These disparities are even more pronounced among graduates of different types of schools: the 75th percentile debt level for associate degree recipients at public colleges is $8,500. Meanwhile, at for-profit institutions, the median debt level is $20,000. The median debt level for those who have completed associate degree at public schools is $0.

Originally published by Buzzfeed

Sign Up

Article Tabs

Norway Sovereign Wealth Fund, Norwegian divestment, oil divestment, fossil fuel divestments, carbon emissions, Green New Deal, petro-states

Europe's largest oil producer is effectively admitting the oil game is over and promises to divest from the industry – but it wants to play to the final whistle. Can it have it both ways?

Amazon, Amazon Web Services, Amazon cloud storage, Amazon government relationship, Amazon surveillance technology, Amazon financial dominance

Amazon provides is unmatched providing cloud storage to our federal government, gubernatorial organizations and local municipalities, with over 2,000 agencies now dependant on AWS.

Brexit, Brexit failure, leaving the E.U., British turmoil, Brexit no-deal

The rejection of a no-deal left the government crestfallen as its attempt to keep control of the Brexit process by maintaining a no-deal on the table was quashed.

youth climate strike, climate protests, climate walkouts, strike for climate, Greta Thunberg, global youth protests

The global Youth Climate Strike will have its official coming out party this Friday, March 15, when tens of thousands of young people worldwide skip school to protest climate inaction.

Norway Sovereign Wealth Fund, Norwegian divestment, oil divestment, fossil fuel divestments, carbon emissions, Green New Deal, petro-states

Europe's largest oil producer is effectively admitting the oil game is over and promises to divest from the industry – but it wants to play to the final whistle. Can it have it both ways?

Environmental activists occupy the office of then incoming Democratic majority leader Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md. (J. Scott Applewhite / AP)

Amid transatlantic proposals for a Green New Deal, monetary policy – normally relegated to obscure academic tomes and bureaucratic meetings behind closed doors – has suddenly taken center stage.

Image Credit: Sara Jane Rhee

Teachers are now understanding that their labor power is part of a broader strategy to even the playing field in a political landscape that is increasingly unequal.

District of Columbia Democratic Attorney General Karl Racine (center) is hiring outside climate counsel to work on matters related to an Exxon investigation. Karl Racine/Facebook

Washington, D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine has revealed plans to hire climate lawyers to focus on an investigation and potential litigation against Exxon Mobil Corp.

billionaires, abolish billionaires, extreme wealth, wealth inequality, income inequality, tax the rich, wealth redistribution, wealth tax

America’s billionaires have suddenly realized they just may be facing an existential crisis: A good chunk of the American people, they now understand, would rather billionaires not exist.

Posted 4 days 22 hours ago
Amazon, Amazon Web Services, Amazon cloud storage, Amazon government relationship, Amazon surveillance technology, Amazon financial dominance

Amazon provides is unmatched providing cloud storage to our federal government, gubernatorial organizations and local municipalities, with over 2,000 agencies now dependant on AWS.

Posted 2 days 22 hours ago
Brexit, Brexit failure, leaving the E.U., British turmoil, Brexit no-deal

The rejection of a no-deal left the government crestfallen as its attempt to keep control of the Brexit process by maintaining a no-deal on the table was quashed.

Posted 3 days 22 hours ago
Norway Sovereign Wealth Fund, Norwegian divestment, oil divestment, fossil fuel divestments, carbon emissions, Green New Deal, petro-states

Europe's largest oil producer is effectively admitting the oil game is over and promises to divest from the industry – but it wants to play to the final whistle. Can it have it both ways?

Posted 1 day 8 hours ago
Image Credit: Sara Jane Rhee

Teachers are now understanding that their labor power is part of a broader strategy to even the playing field in a political landscape that is increasingly unequal.

Posted 2 days 8 hours ago
District of Columbia Democratic Attorney General Karl Racine (center) is hiring outside climate counsel to work on matters related to an Exxon investigation. Karl Racine/Facebook

Washington, D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine has revealed plans to hire climate lawyers to focus on an investigation and potential litigation against Exxon Mobil Corp.

Amazon, Amazon Web Services, Amazon cloud storage, Amazon government relationship, Amazon surveillance technology, Amazon financial dominance

Amazon provides is unmatched providing cloud storage to our federal government, gubernatorial organizations and local municipalities, with over 2,000 agencies now dependant on AWS.

A conversation with Tailspin author Steven Brill, who has been writing about class warfare in the U.S. since 2011. The picture he paints is as depressing as it is persuasive.

Brexit, Brexit failure, leaving the E.U., British turmoil, Brexit no-deal

The rejection of a no-deal left the government crestfallen as its attempt to keep control of the Brexit process by maintaining a no-deal on the table was quashed.

Norway Sovereign Wealth Fund, Norwegian divestment, oil divestment, fossil fuel divestments, carbon emissions, Green New Deal, petro-states

Europe's largest oil producer is effectively admitting the oil game is over and promises to divest from the industry – but it wants to play to the final whistle. Can it have it both ways?