"College students are borrowing more and taking on riskier forms of debt than ever before, according to a national analysis released Thursday."
“Drowning in Debt: The Emerging Student Loan Crisis,” released by an independent education policy think tank called the Education Sector, analyzed 15 years of data through the 2007-2008 academic year."
"The study found:
- The cost of attending a public university has doubled over the past two decades, causing previously unseen costs of higher education.
- Family income and student financial aid haven’t kept up with the increasing costs, forcing students to borrow more money for their education than ever before.
- More students are finding those funds in the form of risky, unregulated, private student loans, where they pay the highest interest rates.
- Minority college students appear to be borrowing a disproportionate share."
"Some of the specific stats included in the report include:
- Borrowing has gone from being the exception for undergraduates in 1993, at only 32 percent, to the rule. As of 2008, more than 50 percent of students at public, four-year universities borrowed for their education. In for-profit education, the percentage of borrowers rose to 92 percent in 2008 from 53 percent in 1993.
- The average annual debt for borrowers at four-year private universities increased by 70 percent over the study period, while the average debt for students at for-profit colleges increased by 57 percent, to $9,600 a year.
- Only 5 percent of undergraduates borrowed private loans in 2003-2004. In four years, the percentage grew to 14 percent.
- Between 2004 and 2008, the percentage of African-American students who took out private loans tripled, giving that group higher participation levels than white or Hispanic students.
- At private, four-year institutions in 2008, the wealthiest students received institutional grants of nearly equal size to those earned by the poorest students."