Happy start of the school year! That is, unless you’re a college student who has to make a financial deal with the devil in order to earn your degree. Americans owe nearly $1.75 trillion in student loan debt, spread out among about 48 million borrowers. That’s about $412 billion more than the total U.S. auto loan debt.
Among the class of 2020, 55% of bachelor’s degree recipients took out student loans, graduating with an average of $28,400 in federal and private debt. And 14% of parents with children in the class of 2019 — the latest data available — took out an average of $37,200 in federal parent PLUS loans. Lots of numbers. Lots of debt. We try to get a handle now on the figures and what Biden’s promise means with UW-Madison professor Nicholas Hillman, whose research examines how finance, policy, and geography shape educational opportunities.
Photo courtesy Towfiqu barbhuiya on Unsplash.