May 24, 2022

Reference: New Report/Data Analysis: “The Debt Burden of Bachelor’s Degree Recipients”

New From the National Center for Education Statistics:

Approximately 72 percent of 2007-08 bachelor’s degree recipients had borrowed to pay for their postsecondary education (either undergraduate or graduate), and 63 percent of bachelor’s degree recipients still had student loan debt 4 years after completing their degree.


Source: The Debt Burden of Bachelor’s Degree Recipients (2017)(NCES)

The National Center for Education Statistics released a new Statistics in Brief report entitled The Debt Burden of Bachelor’s Degree Recipients. The report explores student loan repayment and outstanding debt for 2007-08 bachelor’s degree recipients 4 years after graduation, as well as how these loan repayment outcomes varied by employment and further degree enrollment. The study found that:

  • Among borrowers with no additional postsecondary enrollment, 69 percent were repaying their loans 4 years after graduation, while 17 percent had paid off their loans, 9 percent were not paying but still owed, and 5 percent had defaulted;
  • Borrowers who had no postsecondary enrollment after completing their bachelor’s degree owed an average of $24,200, and those who had borrowed for further postsecondary education owed an average of $61,300; and
  • Among borrowers who were in repayment, employed, and had no further enrollment, their average debt burden (monthly loan payment as a percent of monthly salary) was 10 percent. About 22 percent of this group carried a debt burden over 12 percent.

The data used in this study are drawn from the Baccalaureate and Beyond Longitudinal Study, a nationally representative, longitudinal survey of students who completed the requirements for a bachelor’s degree during the 2007–08 academic year.

Direct to Full Text Report (40 Pages; PDF)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.