Chart of the Week: Student Debt

Aug 14, 2015
Research, Student Loans, Current Events, Chart of the Week, Math

From Economist:


Great opportunity to hone your students’ analytical skills by asking them for takeaways from this chart.  Here are a few:

  • Student debt has more than tripled in the 2004-14 time period.
  • Biggest increase in those still paying off their loans seems to be in the 40+ age range (may have gone back to school during recession or taking more time to pay off loans).
  • Almost 1 in 5 students at for-profit schools default on their loans within 3 year period (much higher rates beyond that); for these schools, default rates are pretty consistent regardless of number of years of school attended.
  • For non-profit private and public colleges, default rates related to length of time attending schools with those at schools for 4+ years having much lower default rates (likely a proxy for completion, so students who graduate are much less likely to default on their loans since they are more likely to be employed and earn higher wages than non-completers.


Check out this NGPF Lesson on Managing Your Educational Investments

About the Author

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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