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Part of Western Governors University

September 4, 2019

Student Success

The facts about student loan debt.

It can take a student up to 21 years after graduating to pay off loans, twice as long as it should.

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According to Newsweek, there are more than 45 million Americans who have student loan debt—totaling a whopping $1.6 trillion in 2019. Such a large number is almost too difficult to understand. If higher education is such a valuable tool for adults who have specific career goals that require a degree, why is student loan debt becoming such a large issue for our country? 

Well, to start, it can take a student up to 21 years after graduating to pay off loans, as stated in US News. This is double what the federal government proposes, as most borrowers offer a 10-year track to pay off loans. And it doesn’t just affect typical student-aged adults. In fact, parents are borrowing on behalf of their children, leading to student loan debt impacting multiple generations. For more information on this, read our latest blog, Student Loan Debt is Not a Generational Problem to learn more about why this is happening and how it impacting families.

So, you might be thinking, where does Nevada fall into the mix? In 2018, Forbes reported Nevada as being among five states with the lowest student loan debt—with the average Nevada student owing about $24,128. Meanwhile, New Hampshire averaged about $36,367 in student loan debt. 

However, these are just numbers for the loan. We need to consider the effect of interest, as well. “The average student loan interest rate is 5.8 percent among all households with student debt, according to a 2017 report by New America,” as stated by Nerd Wallet. If we were to do the math, 5.8 percent interest rate on $24,000 for Nevada students could include an additional $7,973.90 over ten years. 

The facts seem bleak, but we are not in the history of leaving a blog with an ending of gloom and doom. Instead, what are the solutions? Apart from traditional higher education opportunities, there are now other possibilities for working adults that could be more affordable. With an average cost of $16,500 for a bachelor’s degree, most WGU Nevada graduates see a positive return on their investment within two to three years. With a mission to make education more possible, WGU Nevada puts money where its figurative mouth is, by keeping costs low and results high. 

For more information, visit https://www.wgu.edu/nevada.html

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