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A new study shows that students are struggling more and more with student loan debt. Currently, 27 percent of student loan borrowers have past due balances by at least one month, according to new Federal Reserve data of delinquent student loan debt.
This statistic is not in the least bit surprising. Students who currently struggle with student loan debt do so because they follow a pattern: they go to college to get better jobs, then find they may need to further their education at an institution of higher learning in order to get a job that will pay well enough to eliminate their student loan debt in a reasonable amount of time. As a result, they have to take out more loans, which leads to more debt.
The study also took information from Equifax credit reports and found that 15 percent of the United States population has student loan debt and that 40 percent of those under the age of 30 with student loan debt have outstanding student loans of over $20,000 on average.
Furthermore, students need to take out more and more money in loans as tuition prices increase. According to websites like finaid.org and a CBS News report, in the 2011-2012 academic year, college tuition increased at an of average of 4.6 percent at private colleges and universities, while the tuition at public colleges and universities increased on average 8.3 percent. Not only are students required to increase their student loan debt in order to further their education, but they are also required to pay more for increases in the tuition from year to year.
To put it in perspective, the tuition at Connecticut College–a private college in New London, Connecticut–for the 2011-2012 academic year was $54,970. If that increased by 4.6 percent, the cost to attend Connecticut College in the 2012-2013 academic year would be $57,499.
Meanwhile, the tuition at the University of Vermont–a public university in Burlington, Vermont–was $23,418 for a Vermont resident and $41,982 for a student coming from outside of Vermont. If these figures increased by 8.3 percent, it would cost Vermont residents $25,362 for the 2012-2013 academic year, and out-of-state students would pay $45,467 for the 2012-2013 academic year.
Considering all of this, it is not at all shocking that students are taking out more and more loans and are currently struggling with the enormous debts they have amassed. With rising tuition prices and an increasing need for a better degree, Americans are taking out far more loans than they can literally afford.