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Data shows student debt remains high for many


Wednesday, January 08, 2014

It goes without saying that a college degree is a valuable investment in the future, particularly in today's challenging job market. However, in order to attain their career goals, many college students have to rely on financial aid to fund their education. And that goal is getting more expensive. According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the graduating class of 2012 left college with more student debt than any other graduating class before it.

Data from independent research organization the Institute for College Access & Success found that, on average, graduates of the class of 2012 left college with approximately $29,400 of debt, the highest average student debt on record. In addition, the Institute's eighth annual report on student debt revealed that 7 in 10 graduates in 2012 had to rely on some kind of student financial aid to complete their studies.

Levels of student debt vary widely by region and type of college. According to The Boston Globe, students from lower-income families who attend wealthier schools often graduate with less debt, as these colleges can use funds from endowments and other resources to provide need-based aid to these individuals. Even though many schools across the country have increased financial aid awarded to financially disadvantaged students, this is no guarantee that students will graduate debt-free. Students should use the net price calculator on colleges' Web sites and the U.S. Department of Education's College Scorecard to help determine what they can expect to pay for their college education and how much they will owe upon graduating.

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