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News: Average Student Loan Debt On the Rise

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Nearly $27,000. No, that’s not your latest salary offer ‘” it’s the average student loan debt for last year, up 5 percent from 2010, a new report reveals.

According to data from the Institute for College Access & Success’ Project on Student Debt, two-thirds of college seniors who graduated in 2011 owed $26,600, the highest level of debt in the seven years the report has been published, CNN reports. Meanwhile, unemployment for recent college graduates that year also was high, at 8.8 percent.

The drivers? Not surprisingly, rising tuition and a dismal job market.

“In these tough times, a college degree is still your best bet for getting a job and decent pay,” TICAS president Lauren Asher tells CNN. “But, as debt levels rise, fear of loans can prevent students from getting the education they need to succeed.”

Maybe, but the report also found that the one thing likely keeping student debt loans from growing even larger is increased federal financial aid.

To be honest, our first reaction was that owing nearly $27,000 after four years of college seemed low. We certainly know friends and family who ‘” before heading off to graduate or law school ‘” owed at least $10,000-$20,000 more.

Chalk it up to expensive scholarly tastes. Regardless, it’s a clear, sad fact for many that a new “grown-up” life begins shouldered with tens of thousands of dollars in debt.

Do you think owing $26,600 is outrageous or below average? Tell us in the comments section.

Photo courtesy of Classy Girls Wear Pearls

Topics:

#Money Student Loans #Debt News #News You Need To Know
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Carly Heitlinger
Carly Heitlinger

I'm actually surprised it isn't higher!

Carly Heitlinger
Carly Heitlinger
Samantha DiFrancisco
Samantha DiFrancisco

I went to a private school, parents made under $100,000 total when I went off to school, and didn't help pay for my school which was $35,000/year. I go no financial aid from NYS, very little from Federal Government, and very little from school. Being middle class back in 2005 made me realize how much we get screwed financial help wise even if my parents weren't helping me pay for it. Most of my loans are private and can't be combined because I graduated right when recession happened and they stopped doing it. I have roughly $90,000 including interest of student loan debt...and took me 4 years to finally get a hired for an administrative job which I didn't have to go to college for and pays very little but I am taking it as experience to help me further my career. If I could do it all over again, I would've gone to a state school and commute/lived at home to save money. As well as paid my loans before interest kicked in after graduating.

Carly Heitlinger
Carly Heitlinger

Wow!!! Thank you for sharing your personal story!

amandapouchot
amandapouchot

I consider myself very grateful for having attended UC Berkeley. Because I grew up in California I was able to leave college without debt. If I hadn't left without debt I wouldn't be able to be an entrepreneur today. I think it is really important to bring this discussion up before choosing a school. But, at 17 I don't think I would have realized what coming out of college with debt would have been like and I didn't chose Cal for the price. It just happened to be the school I wanted to go to. I hope that we can figure out what to do as a society around the cost of higher education!

Kimberly Topolewski
Kimberly Topolewski

I wish I owed $27,000! My situation is similar to Samatha's in a way because I went to a private school (which I don't regret at all, I have an amazing job now!) that was around $24,000 a year. But my parents didn't have savings for college for me, they made too much money for me to get aid from the government (that I wouldn't have to pay back) and I wasn't smart enough going into school to get scholarships or grants. My loans top out around $89,000. It's definitely alot, but I think because I went and succeed in college with a real degree (Computer Science BS, MS in Information Security) and now have a job that I love, I'm not worried about my debt that much. Do I want to keep it for 10+ years, heck no! But I can handle it.


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