Employment and Debt of 2008 College Graduates

June 21, 2018

Four of every five students who earned bachelor's degrees in the teeth of the Great Recession were employed and/or still enrolled in postsecondary education four years later, a new federal study shows. The study, from the Education Department's National Center for Education Statistics, examines how students who graduated college in 2007-08 and were tracked in the Baccalaureate and Beyond Longitudinal Study were faring in 2012.

Sixty-nine percent were employed, 11 percent were employed and enrolled in some form of study, 6 percent were only enrolled, 7 percent were unemployed, and 8 percent were out of the labor force and not enrolled.

About three-quarters of the 2007-08 graduates had taken out student loans for their undergraduate or graduate education. Of the bachelor's degree recipients who had not subsequently enrolled in another degree program, two-thirds had borrowed and accumulated an average of $29,600 in debt. Of those who did enroll in another program, 71 percent borrowed for an average of $63,600.

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