Attending college, whether you’re earning a bachelor’s degree or you’re shooting for a doctorate, is far from inexpensive. The odds are good, that you’ll graduate with more than $20,000 in student loan debt just for earning a bachelor’s degree.
Here’s a closer look at just how overwhelming student debt can be.
In 2008, the average debt of a student graduating with a bachelor’s degree from a four-year public university stood at $19,535. Students earning a bachelor’s degree from a private four-year university graduated with an average of $25,350 worth of debt.
The average student in 2008 graduating from a four-year public university racked up $16,456 worth of federal student loan debt. The student graduating from a private university took out an average of $18,248 in federal student loans.
Unfortunately, student loans are just one portion of the expenses that students incur while earning their degrees. There are other factors that increase the amount of debt with which students graduate.
For instance, the average student spends $1,122 in books and supplies at public four-year universities, $1,079 on transportation costs, $8,193 in room and board fees and $1,974 in miscellaneous expenses every year.
Tuition and fees, of course, continue to make up a huge percentage of the costs of obtaining a college education. The average student at a public two-year commuter college pays $2,544 every year in tuition and fees. Students pay an average of $7,020 in tuition and fees each year when they attend public four-year universities at an in-state campus and $18,548 when they attend public four-year universities that are located out of state.
Even costlier are private four-year universities. The average student attending one of these universities pays $26,273 every year.
Those fees and tuition charges can add up quickly. It’s little wonder, then, that so many students do graduate with more than $20,000 in student loan debt.
Paying off all these student loans can quickly become a burden for graduates. Most loans give students a six-month grace period after they graduate. During this time, they don’t have to make any student loan payments. But once the payments kick in, graduates are generally saddled with their student loan payments for a long time.
Under a standard or graduated repayment plan it takes students an average of 10 years to pay off their student loans. Under an extended repayment plan, reserved for debts higher than $30,000, it takes students an average of 25 years to repay their debt.
There’s one more stat that’s scarier than the rest: A total of 80 percent of U.S. college students will graduate this summer without having a job lined up. This means that they’ll have little prospects for paying down that immense amount of student loan debt they’re probably carrying.