College is all about making memories, but graduation can bring a few reality checks that prove to be difficult. The student debt crisis is one of the biggest issues facing young adults in the United States today, and it can seriously impact students' futures after graduating. So, are student loans worth the cost? According to these women, maybe not.
According to a 2018 quarterly report from Federal Reserve & New York Federal Reserve, which was released in February, nearly 45 million borrowers in the United States collectively owe up to $1.5 trillion in student debt. In the class of 2017, each borrower owed an average of nearly $29,000, according the Institute for College Access and Success, which is a steep price tag to say the least. In order to gauge whether graduates believe their college experience was worth the expensive student loans, Elite Daily conducted a poll of 481 BDG readers, all women age 18-30, between May 2 and May 16, to hear their thoughts.
Of those polled, a solid two-thirds said that they weren't sold on the cost of their college experience. Nearly half, or 49%, of women polled stated that they don't believe their college experience was worth the debt they accrued, while 18% stated that they weren't sure. Only 33% said they believed their experience was worth it. Those are not some reassuring numbers.
To be fair, some of those polled had a lot of debt. Out of the 481 women, 406, or 84%, actively had debt. Some 38% of women owed between $20,000 to $50,000 in student loans, while 10% said they owe $100,000 or more. Of that debt, the poll showed that 55% of the 406 who owe pay $100 to $500 a month towards those loans.
Those numbers, while illuminating, aren't terribly surprising. According to U.S. News, it takes over 20 years for the average borrower with a bachelor's degree to completely pay off their student debt. So, not only do graduates have to search for careers after finishing college, but the pressures to pay off their student loans in a timely manner adds to the pressure. This is quite a contrast to the standard repayment plan, which aims to have borrowers completely pay off their student loans within ten years.
The stress of student loans has reached such severe levels that CNBC reported in May 2018 that 39% of college students are considering dropping out of school in order to avoid accruing more debt. However, earning a degree does significantly increase an individual's average income. According to CNBC, those who have a college degree earned nearly $66,000 a year compared to those without a college degree, who earned nearly $36,000. Sure, college can come with a hefty price, and some students may not prepared for the debt to come, but these statistics might show that the student loans could be worth the stress in the future.
Even if a majority of graduates believe their education wasn't worth the cost of their hefty student loans, let's hope they at least made memories that will last them a lifetime.