Interesting data. It helps inform us that when we are talking about the student debt “crisis,” we’re mostly talking about people who took on a lot of debt to go into lucrative professions. To have taxpayers pay that debt is really to have the working class pay off the debt of the professional class.
Overall, graduates with associate’s degrees borrowed an average of $14,000, as compared to bachelor’s degree grads who borrowed $23,000.
Then there are master’s degrees, of which the costs have been a large focus of the conversation around the price of higher education in recent months. Master’s degree holders borrowed a median of $40,000, according to the data, while professional degree recipients took out a median of $144,000 while doctoral degree graduates borrowed a median of $73,000, according to the data.
“The one pattern that really did jump out at me … is that the student debt for a master’s degree and for professional degrees is just off the charts,” Gillen said. “There’s really, really high debt for graduate programs. That doesn’t always hold for doctoral programs, which I felt was kind of interesting.”