NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

More Higher-Income Students Taking Out Loans

October 17, 2014

2012 broke records for student borrowing, as more than two-thirds (69 percent) of college students had taken out loans to pay for their college educations. Not only was the rate of borrowing staggeringly high, but students had borrowed, on average, an amount more than twice as high as graduates borrowed just two decades ago.

According to a new report from the Pew Research Center, the increase in the borrowing rate is largely linked to students from higher income families:

  • In 2012, half of college graduates from high-income families had taken out loans, twice as many as in 1992.
  • Sixty-two percent of 2012 college graduates from upper-middle-income households had student loan debt in 2012. Two decades ago, that figure was just 34 percent.

Still, the report notes that students from low-income families are most likely to graduate with student loans.

Source: Richard Fry, "The Changing Profile of Student Borrowers," Pew Research Center, October 7, 2014.


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