Publication | June 6, 2006

High Hopes, Big Debts

A new analysis finds that the number of college graduates with high levels of student debt has skyrocketed since the early nineties, even after accounting for inflation. In 1993, 1.3 percent of graduating seniors with student loans owed $40,000 or more (in 2004 dollars). In 2004, 7.7 percent owed more than $40,000. That’s a 10-fold jump from approximately 7,000 to 77,550 new graduates with high debt. Twice the national average debt burden, $40,000 is more than most people can manage to repay in 10 years.