In-depth: Student debt continues to grow in the United States

by Trent Dunn

The student debt in the United States has grown by nearly 150 percent in private universities in the past 20 years, according to US News.

Students realize that a college education is essential to living a healthy financial life when you are older, but some won’t be able to live that life if they cannot pay off their college debt.

According to Student Loan Hero, there is a total of $1.45 trillion of student debt in the United States, and over 44 million Americans have student debt. The average payment per month for people 20 to 30 years old is $351.

The student debt crisis has been addressed by some politicians on Capitol Hill. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has proposed we make public college tuition-free. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) has said, “If Wall Street can borrow money at 0.75 percent interest, so can college students, we need to stop treating students as profit centers,” according to the Los Angeles Times.

New Hampshire has the highest student loan debt in the country with an average of $36,101 for the class of 2015, Utah has the lowest with $18,873, according to Forbes.

“I think we need to educate students and people on why debt is a problem in our generation,” said Franklin Pierce sophomore Ian Keating.

The average 22 year old male brings home $50,200, according to CNBC. Doing the math, a student would pay about $4,212 each year for college debt, on top of insurance, groceries per month, gas, and other fixings.

(Photo: Inside Sources)

However, according to an article done by, it’s almost essential for a person to get a college degree nowadays. According to, high school diploma holders will earn $23,900 while college graduates will earn more than two times that, $48,500.

The student debt crisis is not just hurting the millennials, but also the economy as a whole, according to the Washington Post. According to this piece, home ownership has dropped dramatically with people under the age of 35. Why? “The research suggests that there are two big reasons millennials who want to buy a home find it hard: student debt and the lingering effects of the Great Recession,” said Huffington Post reporter Shane Ferro.

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