Graduating college is a milestone achievement and a time for graduates to reflect on their collegiate experience. However, the top thing on most students’ minds is how they can pay off their student loans.
MidAmerica Nazarene University surveyed 2,000 recent graduates from around the country to learn more about the current state of student loans in America. The survey also looked at questions relating to the overall collegiate experience, how many colleges students applied to, how many colleges that accepted them, the top reason’s students didn’t like their school, majors, job outlook and student debt. Let’s take a look at what they found.
The survey found that on average students applied to at least 4 different colleges. On average they were accepted to 2 colleges. 35% of respondents said they wish they went to a different school for college, where 28% actually transferred to another school. The top three reasons that students didn’t like their school was cost, wanting to change major/studies and they didn’t enjoy campus life at their first school choice.
When it comes to majors, 20% of students said they did not study a major they intended to pursue. The top reason of why students didn’t pursue the major they wanted to was because of lack of jobs followed by it was too difficult to study. Some people also felt pressure from family and friends as a main reason why they didn’t pursue the major they wanted to.
The survey then took a deep look at how students feel about the current job market. 62% of graduates said that the job market directly influenced the major they selected. If money weren’t a factor 55% of students would have pursued a different major or career. 62% of graduates said that their current job relates to their major. On a slightly less positive note, only 45% of graduates had a positive feeling about the current job market and only 37% of graduates actually had a job lined up before they graduated. The last two data points show that most recent graduates are worried about the job market they are getting into.
The next part of the survey examined student loans. Over 71% of students took out student loans to pay for school. The average student loan amount is $25,893. On average 41% of most student’s tuition is paid by student loans. 71% of graduates also received some sort of financial assistance from their parents. On average, students received over $20,000 from their parents to pay for college. Students were also polled on how long they believed it would take to pay off their student loans. The average responses rate was just over 9.5 years. Students believe that will take on to the age of 35 to pay off their student loans with some believing it will take even longer to do so.
To the full analysis on the 2019 college senior survey from MidAmerica Nazarene University can be seen below.