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Graduate School Debt: A Heavy Burden
Imagine you’re in grad school, working hard for that dream degree. But there’s something not-so-great hanging over your head: debt. Let’s break down what’s going on.
More Debt, Not So Much More Pay
People used to think that getting a master’s or PhD meant making more money. But here’s the deal: since 2007, grad students are taking out bigger loans than ever to pay for school. They changed the rules, so students could borrow as much as their program costs. That helped many folks get into grad school, but now they’re stuck with more debt. The problem? After they graduate, their salaries aren’t going up by much. It’s like you’re buying a fancy car, but the gas it runs on doesn’t get any cheaper.
Big Numbers, Big Trouble
Let’s talk numbers. The government gave out a crazy $39 billion in loans to grad students in just one year. That’s more money than most of us can even imagine! And guess what? Even though grad students make up only 21% of all borrowers, they got almost half of all the student loan money. It’s like they’re getting the biggest piece of the pie.
Money Isn’t Growing on Trees
You’d think that having a grad degree would mean loads of cash, right? Well, it’s not that simple. Sure, people with grad degrees make more money than those with just a bachelor’s degree. Last year, they were making around $1,661 a week, while others were making about $1,432. But here’s the kicker: that extra money isn’t growing as much as you’d hope. It’s like planting a money tree that’s not growing very fast.
Who’s Feeling the Pinch?
Guess who’s really feeling this money squeeze? Women. They’re going to grad school more than ever, even more than men. But even though they’re getting those degrees, they’re not seeing the big pay jump they should. It’s like they’re climbing the same ladder, but the steps aren’t getting them as high as they should.
Meet the Money Expert : Graduate School Debt
In this world of money mysteries, there’s a hero named Medora Lee. She knows all about money stuff and writes about it at USA TODAY. You can ask her for advice or sign up for her newsletter to get money tips every Monday.
The Bottom Line : Graduate School Debt
Imagine a seesaw with debt on one side and earnings on the other. Right now, the debt side is much heavier. The Department of Education is saying, “Hey, this isn’t good!” It’s like a call for everyone to pay attention and figure out what to do next.