Impacts of College Debt

Student loan debt can hinder college graduates from beginning their adult lives due to financial instability.  The Institute for College Access and Success states that “nationally, about two in three (65 percent) college seniors who graduated from public and private nonprofit colleges in 2018 had student loan debt.” Although students who come from low-income families face more struggles when it comes to graduating from college, students who come from middle-class families face far more issues regarding student loan debt. 

Students who are graduating from states in the northeastern United States have a higher debt than students graduating from states in the western part of the country. According to The Institute for College Access and Success, the “average student debt at graduation in 2018 ranged from $19,750 in Utah to $38,650 in Connecticut, and new graduates’ likelihood of having debt ranged from 36 percent in Utah to 76 percent in New Hampshire.”

Because of a high amount of student loan debt, college graduates often take the first job that they are offered. Most of the time, the first job that college students have after graduating is lower-paid and lower-skilled. This is because college graduates are so eager to start paying off their student loan debt. 

The average debt of a college graduate in 2018 was nearly $30,000. The thought of having such a large amount of debt deters high school graduates from even applying to college.  Scholarship America states that “ the prospect of such overwhelming debt is making an increasing number of students, especially low-income students, think twice about attending college at all.”

Although students can apply for copious amounts of scholarships and financial aid, it is not guaranteed that every student will get either of these things.  Because of student debt, college graduates are having trouble leading financially stable lives.  Student debt has a lasting, negative effect on college graduates. 

Written by: Brielle Toff

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