Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Recent College Grads: How Are They Doing?

One day historians will be ever so grateful that the National Center for Education Statistics initiated a longitudinal survey of college graduates just as the Great Recession set in. The Baccalaureate and Beyond survey will be checking in every few years with a national sample of young adults who earned their bachelor's degree in the 2007–08 academic year. The first follow-up was released today, with a look at the status of those 2007–08 graduates in 2009.

When the National Center for Education Statistics designed the survey, its intent was not to measure the impact of the Great Recession on the nation's most promising young adults. But that is what the survey is doing. The findings are not reassuring:
  • The 66 percent majority of 2007–08 college graduates borrowed money to pay for their education. 
  • The average cumulative amount borrowed was $24,700. 
  • One year after graduation, 84 percent were employed, but only 57 percent had one full-time job. 
  • Among those employed full-time in 2009, their median income was only $36,000.
Source: National Center for Education Statistics, 2008-09 Baccalaureate and Beyond Longitudinal Study (B&B:08/09): A First Look at Recent College Graduates

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