April 25, 2012

The Burdens of Student Debt

48%

About half (48%) of students who took out college loans say that paying them back has made it harder to make ends meet after they left school.

As the cost of higher education has increased, a growing share of undergraduates are taking out loans and a rising share of families are attempting to pay them back.

About half (48%) of students who took out college loans say that paying them back has made it harder to make ends meet after they left school. A quarter say that making loan payments has made it harder to buy a home; 24% say it has had an impact on the kind of career they are pursuing; and 7% say they have delayed getting married or starting a family because of it.

Across the country, average tuition and fees have roughly tripled since 1980-81, even after accounting for inflation. For the 2010-11 school year, the average in-state, full-time undergraduate student paid $7,605 in tuition and fees (before grant aid), up from $2,119 in 1980-81. The increase in tuition and fees has been even more severe at private colleges and universities, jumping up from $9,535 in 1980-81 to $27,293 in 2010-11. Read More