Facts about student debt
College should be about unlocking opportunities and creating a brighter future, not saddling students with burdensome amounts of debt.
Hardworking students know that the best way to get a good job and support a family is to get a college degree. But, more and more, skyrocketing college costs force students to take on crippling debt in order to get the education they need.
Consider these facts:
- Right now, our nation’s collective student loan debt stands at more than $1 trillion. In fact, Americans now owe more on their student loans than they do on their credit cards.
- Things aren’t the way they used to be for people who went to college decades ago. Since the early 1980s, tuition and fees have increased by 538 percent — that’s almost twice as fast as health care costs.
- Fewer and fewer people have the ability to go through college without going into debt. Two-thirds of students who graduate with a bachelor’s degree take out loans in order to pay for their education.
- The number of students with excessive debt is increasing. The percent of people graduating from college with more than $40,000 in student loan debt has tripled over the last decade.
- Despite the cost, having a college degree is critically important for ensuring a brighter future. Not having at least a bachelor’s degree costs the average American with only a high school diploma about $1 million in lost earnings over the course of their lifetime.