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Student Borrowing Up, Federal Data Show

July 11, 2019
 
 

The proportion of students borrowing to pursue college degrees was up in 2015-16 compared to eight years prior, according to federal data released Wednesday. And the average amount borrowed increased by nearly $6,000 over the same period.

The numbers are from the Baccalaureate and Beyond Longitudinal Study, a nationally representative survey of students who completed requirements for a four-year degree. The Education Department recently released new results of the study for the first time in eight years.

Of students who completed their degree in the 2007-08 academic year, 65.6 percent took out student loans, borrowing $24,700 on average. Eight years later, 67.4 percent of students took out loans, borrowing an average of $30,500.

The proportion of students borrowing to attend for-profit colleges declined slightly from 2007-08, but the average loan amount went up. Ninety percent of students pursuing a four-year degree at a for-profit institution took out loans that year, borrowing $36,800, compared to 84.7 percent in 2015-16, who borrowed $43,600.

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