Student Debt Viewed as Major Problem; Financial Considerations Important Factor for Most Millennials When Considering Whether to Pursue College


Majority of College Students, 42% of All 18- to 29- Year Olds, Have Student Loan Debt

More than two-in-five (42%) Millennials between 18- and 29- years olds report that they, or someone in their household has student load debt; 48 percent indicated that they had no debt.  Unlike most questions in our survey, there was no statistical difference based upon age, gender or political party affiliation.
Do you, or does someone in your household, currently have student loan debt?

7-in-10 Say That Financial Circumstances Played An Important Role in College Decision

Regardless of whether or not they have debt, 57 percent of Millennials under 30 believe that student debt is a major problem for young people in the United States -- and another 22 percent believe its a minor problem.  Overall, 79 percent say its a problem, four percent say it is not a problem.  
In total, 70 percent of our sample reported that financial circumstances played an important (41% very, 29% somewhat)  role  in their decision whether or not to pursue a college education. 

Those who were more likely to say that financial circumstances were important are:

  1. Community college and two-year college students (87% say it played an important role compared to 70% college students); and
  2. 18- to 29- year old Blacks (52% say it played a very important role compared to 38% of Whites).

When Millennials were asked who is most responsible for the rising amount of student debt in the U.S., 42 percent said colleges and universities, 30 percent the federal government -- students and state governments were held responsible by 11 and eight percent respectively.

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