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Average Debt Burden the Same for 1992-93 and 1999-2000 Bachelor's Degree Recipients

April 6, 2005

A report released by the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics has found that the median debt burden for 1992-93 bachelor's degree recipients and 1999-2000 bachelor's degree recipients a year after graduating was approximately the same for both groups. This is despite both an increase in the percentage who borrowed and the average total amount borrowed among 1999-2000 bachelor's degree recipients. Higher salaries and lower loan repayments (kept down by declining interest rates) for the 1999-2000 graduates appeared to be the leading reasons for the lack of increase in debt burden.

These two cohorts are particularly interesting to compare, according to the report's authors, because the 1992-93 graduates borrowed for their education before the loan limits were increased for the Stafford loan program (among other changes) during the 1992 Reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, and the 1999-2000 graduates borrowed under the raised limits.

"Debt Burden: A Comparison of 1992-93 and 1999-2000 Bachelor's Degree Recipients a Year After Graduating" can be downloaded from the Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics Web site.