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The New Guard

Student Loan Debt Hits Record High

By

hsmith

June 16, 2016

Student loan debt just spiked to another record high.

Per the analysis of Mark Kantrowitz as reported by The Wall Street Journal, students in the class of 2016 graduated with an average of $37,172.80 in student loan debt. This marks an increase of $2,122 over last year’s number.

According to the Journal’s report:

The first thing to understand is that among the 40 million or so Americans who collectively owe $1.2 trillion in student debt, there is great variation. Engineering majors earn far more, on average, than teachers, for example. Those who attend prestigious nonprofit universities fare far better than graduates of nonselective public colleges. Poor black students borrowed more than their white peers, even though they often attend worse schools.

And perhaps most concerning are the millions who borrowed, then dropped out, failing to get the degree that leads to an earnings boost. Dropouts are a disproportionately high share of defaulters, a group that typically owes under $9,000, according to the Education Department.

“We don’t have a student-loan problem so much as a we have a graduation problem,” Mr. Kantrowitz said. “And if current trends continue, we may be in a crisis point in two decades from now.”

YAF’s latest Youth Misery Index data (a figure that combines average student loan debt, average debt per capita, and youth unemployment) is now at 109.9, higher than it has ever been as well.

In both 2008 and 2012, President Obama won the support of college students everywhere. But over the course of his administration has he done anything to help them on the issues that hurt most? Not at all. Since 2009, the average graduating student debt has increased by $12,539.06.

Let that sink in.

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