Tuesday, February 09, 2021

College Graduates 10 Years Later

Forty percent of Millennials have a bachelor's degree, making them the best-educated generation. They are paying a steep price for those credentials. According to a National Center for Education Statistics' longitudinal survey, nearly three out of four Millennials who earned a bachelor's degree went into debt to pay for their education.  

The NCES's Baccalaureate and Beyond longitudinal survey has been tracking the economic wellbeing of 2007–2008 bachelor's degree recipients. A recent NCES report examines the status of these graduates in 2018, a decade after they earned their degree. Much of the news is good. Sixty-three percent of the graduates owned a home in 2018, for example, compared with only 48 percent of the 30-to-34 age group as a whole (two-thirds of the 2007–08 cohort was under age 35). The median earnings of those who worked full-time amounted to $67,500 compared with $52,000 for all 30-to-34-year-olds with full-time jobs. 

Not all the news is good, however. A substantial 20 percent of 2007–08 college graduates have a negative net worth—meaning their debts exceed their assets, the NCES reports. Among Black college graduates, 37 percent have a negative net worth. Student loans are the reason. Fully 72 percent of the 2007–08 cohort borrowed to pay for their education, owing a cumulative median of $32,116. Among Black graduates, 86 percent borrowed and they owe a larger $51,395. Most of the 2007–08 cohort (55 percent) is still repaying those loans, with an average monthly payment of $427. 

Source: National Center for Education Statistics, Baccalaureate and Beyond: First Look at the 2018 Employment and Educational Experiences of 2007–08 College Graduates

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