It is a fact that today, in the United States; people are struggling with the increasing burden of student debt loans. The number is the highest ever in the history of this country. The statistics show that there are more than 44 million students who borrow loans in the country thus owing a total of $1.48 trillion. This amount exceeds the total United States Credit Card debt by $6.2 billion. The average student loan debt for those that graduated in 2016 is at $37,172 which is a 6% increment from the 2015 class

There are, however, a lot of questions on the issue of student loans that ought to be demystified. Are these loans used to attend private or public universities? Are they used to fund four-year degrees or in graduate school? What is the percentage average of all the students with student loans? How are that student loan consolidation and refinancing being utilized by grads?

General facts on student loans

The latest statistics on student loan debt indicate that:

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  • There is a total of $1.48 trillion in student debt in the United States
  • 2 million Americans have student loans
  • The student loan delinquency rate stands at 11.2%
  • The average monthly loan repayment for borrowers between the periods of 20 to 30 years is $351 while the median for the same age bracket is $203

Students accumulate these loans differently, all based on the type of school that they attend. In 2012 for instance, 71% of all the students graduating from four-year college course had student loans. This meant that there were a total of 1.3 million individuals with loans which were a 200,000 rise from 1.1 million students graduating with loans in 2008. In the same year (2012) 66% of graduates from public colleges had student loans, each with an average of $25,550. As for students graduating from private non-profit colleges, 75% of them had debts averaging at $32,300 while 88% of students graduating from for-profit colleges had loans each with an average debt of $39,950. In 2012, only 20% of the loans were for students in private colleges.

Statistics also show that students that applied and got the Pell Grants had a higher possibility of borrowing again. In 2012, data showed that 88% of the students that received this grant had student loan debt averaging at $31,200. As for those who did not receive it, only 53% of them had student debt loans and their average was $4,750 less than those who received the grants, with an average of $26,450.

Statistics on private student loan debt

In the academic year 2010/2011, there was a total private student’s loan debt of $5.2 billion and this amount shot to $7.8 billion in academic year 2014/2015. Information also showed that students did not utilize the federal student loans to maximum capacity between 2011 and 2012. This is justified by the 19% of these borrowers that did not take Stafford loans, 8% that did not apply for federal financial aid, 11% of those that applied for the federal financial aid did not take out the Stafford loans while 28% of those that applied for the Stafford loans applied for less than what they were eligible for.

In 2011 and 2012, nearly half of all the private loan borrowers attended colleges whose tuition costs were less than $10,000 and during the same time, 1.4 million students borrowed loans to finance their undergraduate degrees.

Graduate Student Loans

Out of the $1 trillion in student loan debt, 40% of it was borrowed to fund professional degrees. Here is a breakdown of the combined undergraduate and graduate debt by degree:

  • At 11% is MBA with an average loan of $42,000
  • At 16% is Master of Education with an average debt of $50,879
  • At 18% is Master of Science with an average of $50,400
  • At 8% is Master of Art averaging at $58,539
  • At 4% is Law with an average of $140,616
  • At 5% in Medicine and Health Sciences averaging at $161,772

From all these statistics and information, it is evident that the cost accessing higher education continues to grow by the day and more and more Americans are unable to afford a college education.

In as much as a college degree is essential in today’s evolving world; it is getting further away from reach. There is quite a lot that has to be done by the government as well as the students to bring down the cost of attending college as well as reduce or pay off all the student loan debt.

Posted by Alice Stevens

Full time stay at home mom with three children. I love to blog!

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