NPR : News

What America Owes In Student Loans

See our earlier entries in this series: What America Sells To The World, What America Does For Work, What America Buys and What America Pays in Taxes

Americans now owe more on student loans than they owe on their credit cards.

The amount of student debt being taken on every year has been rising rapidly for years now.

You probably know these things already. People keep reporting it, with the implication that student debt is out of control, that there is some kind of crisis building.

But it turns out that the rise in total student debt is not primarily the result of each student borrowing more money. It's the result of more students going to college.

"The main force pushing up the total amount of outstanding student debt is growth in the number of people going to college," said Sandy Baum, an analyst at the College Board.

Average debt per college graduate is rising — but not nearly as fast as total student debt.

These graphs show average debt per student for bachelor's degree recipients, by year. You can find this data and much more in College Board's 2011 report on trends in student aid (see page 19 for the source for these graphs).

These are, of course, only averages. There are some students who get through college without any debt at all. Others owe much, much more than the average. This post from the Atlantic has a nice discussion of the distribution.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Shante, He Stays: RuPaul Reflects On Decades Of Drag — And 2 Emmy Nominations

RuPaul is the most recognizable drag queen in America. His hit show, RuPaul's Drag Race is up for two Emmy Awards as it begins filming its ninth season. But drag, he says, will never be mainstream.
NPR

Food World Rallies For Quake-Hit Amatrice, Home Of Famous Pasta Dish

In Italy and the U.S., restaurants are pledging to use sales of Amatrice's signature dish, spaghetti all' amatriciana, to raise funds for the Italian town devastated by Wednesday's earthquake.
WAMU 88.5

Friday News Roundup - International

Italy searches for survivors after a devastating earthquake. Turkey escalates its role in the fight against ISIS. And Colombia and the FARC rebels sign a peace treaty ending a half-century-long guerrilla war. A panel of journalists joins guest host Derek McGinty for analysis of the week's top international news stories.

NPR

WhatsApp Will Start Sharing Data, Including Phone Numbers, With Facebook

It will also test new ways for businesses to communicate with users on the app. The privacy policy changes mark the long-expected move by Facebook to begin making money from the free app.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.