Question of the Day: How many Americans have over $1,000,000 in student debt?

Aug 28, 2018
Question of the Day, Paying for College, Student Loans

Answer: 101

Hat tip to NGPF Fellow, James Redelsheimer of Robbinsdale Armstrong High School of Plymouth, Minnesota for providing today's Question of the Day. 


  1. Did you think it was possible to have this much student debt?
  2. Analyzing the graph on the previous slide, what types of degrees typically result in the largest amount of student debt?
  3. Do you think someone with this much debt should be able to have some it forgiven by the government? Why or why not?

Click here for the ready-to-go slides for this Question of the Day that you can use in your classroom.

Behind the numbers (WSJ):

Due to escalating tuition and easy credit, the U.S. has 101 people who owe at least $1 million in federal student loans, according to the Education Department. Five years ago, 14 people owed that much. More could join that group. While the typical student borrower owes $17,000, the number of those who owe at least $100,000 has risen to around 2.5 million, nearly 6% of the borrowing pool, Education Department data show.


Help your students learn the consequences of student debt by playing PAYBACK, an award-winning college finance game. 


About the Authors

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.

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