Borrowing Rates for Older Students Have Surged

August 21, 2019

Borrowing by older students has soared over the past two decades, according to a report released Tuesday by the National Center for Education Statistics.

Between 1995-96 and 2015-16, the borrowing rate for college completers age 50 or older rose by 45 percentage points, and completers between the ages of 40 and 49 increased their borrowing rate by 36 percentage points.

Over the same period, the borrowing rate for students age 29 or younger rose by seven percentage points.

The growth in the cumulative amount borrowed by older college completers outpaced younger cohorts as well. Students age 50 or older borrowed $14,000 in 2015-16, or 5.7 times the cumulative amount in 1995-96. Borrowers younger than 24 took out $12,400 in cumulative loans in 2015-16, or 1.6 times the cumulative amount in 1995-96.

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