77,552 Of Graduating College Seniors Have $40,000+ In Student Debt

This graph from GOOD and FutureFarmers shows the number of graduating seniors with more than 40,000 in student debt by 2004.

A variety of factors could be at play, including the rising cost of college and more people going to college. But consider the cost increases thanks to the aggressive marketing of private student loans (a practice for which the NY AG sued several colleges and banks), which often carry higher interest rates than federal student aid. Many students turning to private loans haven’t used of their full quotient of federal Stafford, Perkins, and PLUS loans, which have capped interest rates and are guaranteed against default.

Student Debt [GOOD]
RELATED: Shop Around for Student Loans

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