=Approximately 72 percent of 2007-08 bachelor's degree recipients had borrowed to pay for their postsecondary education (either undergraduate or graduate), and 63 percent of bachelor's degree recipients still had student loan debt 4 years after completing their degree.
The National Center for Education Statistics released a new Statistics in Brief report entitled The Debt Burden of Bachelor's Degree Recipients. The report explores student loan repayment and outstanding debt for 2007-08 bachelor's degree recipients 4 years after graduation, as well as how these loan repayment outcomes varied by employment and further degree enrollment. The study found that:
Among borrowers with no additional postsecondary enrollment, 69 percent were repaying their loans 4 years after graduation, while 17 percent had paid off their loans, 9 percent were not paying but still owed, and 5 percent had defaulted;
Borrowers who had no postsecondary enrollment after completing their bachelor's degree owed an average of $24,200, and those who had borrowed for further postsecondary education owed an average of $61,300; and
Among borrowers who were in repayment, employed, and had no further enrollment, their average debt burden (monthly loan payment as a percent of monthly salary) was 10 percent. About 22 percent of this group carried a debt burden over 12 percent.
The data used in this study are drawn from the Baccalaureate and Beyond Longitudinal Study, a nationally representative, longitudinal survey of students who completed the requirements for a bachelor's degree during the 2007–08 academic year.