I was recently reading a couple articles about student loan debt in the United States, and there were definitely some pretty alarming statistics. Take these, for example:
- Since 1978, the cost of college tuition in America has increased by over 900%.
- By 2010, average college graduates had accumulated around $25,000 in student loan debts, and about two thirds of all students graduated with student loans.
- Between 2000 and 2006, the average amount that students were borrowing rose by 18%.
- In the 2007-2008 school year, lenders provided 592% more in loans than they had just ten years earlier.
- The average graduate student racks up over $40,000 in debt. The average medical student? A whopping $119,000+!
Now consider these statistics, about what you can expect for the money and debt you’re incurring:
- Only 36% of students who begin college receive a degree in four years.
- As of 2010, the unemployment rate for recent college graduates (22-26) was 9.7%.
- Approximately 14% of students that graduate with debt from student loans wind up defaulting within three years of making their first student loan payment.
- American students have accumulated over $900 billion in student loan debt, which is higher than the total amount of credit card debt in the United States.
So what do these figures tell me? Well, for one, it really seems as though there needs to be a total overhaul in how the higher education system in this country is set up, because people are graduating with crippling debt. For another, it’s that if I’m going to be going back to graduate school, I’d better work as hard as I can to make sure every second is worth it.
What do you make of these statistics? How can American students today ensure that their education is worth the price they pay, and the potential debt they could incur?