Average Debt Burden of Graduates in Recent Years Has Risen
The average debt load for recent graduates is usually higher than average debt load for older graduates. This can make college seem more of an ordeal than it really is. Student loans to help cover costs for tuition and other educational expenses such as books and room and board. Among people who borrow, the average debt load at graduation from a four-year school is $25,611 or $6,084 per year.
The average debt burden for graduate students ranges from about three-hundred dollars for students who attend only state colleges to several thousand for those who go to a prestigious university. Private and government student loans, though, offer better average debt burden for graduate students. Private loans usually have lower interest rates and do not need cosigner commitments. Government student loans, however, require more credit history, payment guarantees and repayment plans.
Average student debt load varies greatly by field of study. It is higher for students going to a prestigious four-year public university because of lower average salaries. At the same time, public graduate school is expensive. Public graduate schools have tuition costs that are a bit lower than those at for-profit schools.
An average student loan debt for graduates in the fall 2017 was only about $37,500. That amount, based on the current number of graduates, represents a significant decrease from previous years’ average student loan debt of more than $50,000. The drop in debt is mainly due to fewer students and a new focus on federal student loan debt. Fewer students are taking on student loans as a form of debt financing, which accounts for the lower amount. Also, there is a wide range of acceptable interest rates, with some borrowers paying only a portion of their total debt while others pay nothing.
Another encouraging indicators that the government is encouraging graduates to get out of college and not put off their plans to get a new job is the increase in the number of grants available for the funding of education. There are now a total of 44.7 million American college graduates who are eligible for federal student loans. These numbers have increased for several years, which means that more people can now afford to go back to school.
The cost of getting a degree is starting to rise, which is another of the encouraging indicators. The cost of sending an adult to school has always been rising, but the recent rise in tuition costs is especially worrisome. In recent years, most colleges have added tuition to the price of receiving an associate’s, bachelor’s or master’s degree. Some are continuing to do so, even though the federal government has provided some financial aid to help keep costs down. This has resulted in many students taking out additional student loans to cover the increasing cost of education.
The average debt burden of a typical four-year public university graduate is now at an all time high, which means that student debt is now rising at an even faster rate. The number of four-year public university graduates with student debt is now up to 45%. While it is difficult for some students to get out of the cycle of student debt after graduation, the federal government has created the “Pay For Stay Power” which allows graduates to be provided temporary relief from their student debts. This program was created as a means of encouraging more four-year public university graduates to return to school and earn their graduate degrees. This plan provides students with an extra six months to work on paying off their student debt by taking out an additional federal loan after they graduate.
One of the most encouraging indicators that we are hearing about rising student debt is the number of graduates who have obtained financing for their education through the federal government’s Student Loan Help Programs. From the beginning of the 2007 school year to the middle of the 2009 school year, there has been a significant increase in the number of graduates using the federal government’s Student Loan Help Programs to pay off their total student debt. Graduates received nearly nine-in-one funding from the federal government for their post-graduation expenses. Over the last several years, more than one-third of all recent graduates nationwide have applied for this funding. While this is good news for the struggling economy, these figures only represent part of the solution; it is also important to remember that there are many other resources available to help graduates manage their post-graduation debt.