The average student who attended college over the past 20 years owes about $40,000, according to a new report.
It’s a huge sum that’s still far from reaching the middle class, who are struggling financially because of rising college costs and stagnant wages.
But a growing number of students are struggling even more, and their parents and grandparents are struggling more as well.
According to the report from the Center for College Affordability and Productivity, a group of economists at Harvard University, only about 30 percent of college graduates had student debt at the end of last year.
The rest had student loans that they weren’t able to pay back.
The report said that this is the lowest percentage of graduates in history who had student debts at the time they graduated, and it also marked the lowest number of graduates who had a student loan in the last 10 years.
The average amount of debt for graduates in the past 30 years was $57,000.
But the report also said that in 2017, the median amount of student debt for college graduates was $42,000 compared to $66,000 for the average student.
For many graduates, their debt burden is a major factor in the amount of money they end up owing.
“For many students, the amount they need to pay is a factor in their ability to pay for college,” said Robert Reich, a professor of public policy at UC Berkeley.
Roughly 50 percent of students graduate with student debt, according the report.
The report said about 12 percent of those with student loans in 2017 were either unemployed or underemployed, while 25 percent of graduates with student debts were unemployed.
More than one in five graduates with college debt said they were in default on their loans, according a Pew Research Center report last year, while one in 10 students said they owed more than $1,000 on their college loan.
In recent years, many college students have seen their student loans go up, but many have struggled to pay them off, according to the report, which said that more than half of graduates had a $25,000 or less debt load at the start of the academic year.
The report also found that one in three graduates had more than one student loan.
It was the highest number of borrowers in history.
According to Pew, more than 80 percent of all graduates who attended school between 2000 and 2010 had debt, but it dropped to 62 percent in 2015, which was the lowest level since 1990.