High cost of college placing a financial burden on graduates
The average student debt has doubled since the mid 1990s, the Seattle Times reported.
More than two-thirds of all college students borrow money to finance their education; in 1993 the number was less than half. According to one analysis of federal data, of undergraduates who borrow, the average student finished school in 2004 with loans of $19,000, up from $9,000 in 1994.
At the University of Washington, the average undergraduate student who borrows will owe around $16,000 after graduation. Graduate programs, however, are much higher in owed money. Master's students who borrow, finish with an average $36,000 in loans; law students with $66,000; medical students with $106,000; and dental students with $143,000.
Educators and Investors still argue that a higher-education will prove beneficial long-term, but the payoff is not as great as it once was.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the average person with a bachelor's degree makes about $51,000 a year, which is $20,000 higher than that of a high-school graduate. They also report, though, that the rate of tuition is about five times higher than it was in the 1980s.
The private sector has been playing a larger role in recent years in writing student loans, and often times they have high interest rates. As the government fails to keep pace with costs, the private sector steps up even more. Last year, they took up 22% of student loans.
For students with graduation in the near future, large loan repayments are becoming an increasing financial burden at a time when they also are thinking about rising health-care costs, expensive housing and a difficult employment market.