Why do Millennial's Have More College Debt Than the Baby Booming Generation?

Millennials- also known as Generation Y are individuals who were born between the early 80s and 90s- currently aged in their 30s and 20s. This generation follows Generation X (individuals born between the 60s and early 80s)- the generation born after the baby boomers.

Many have seen articles discussing this age group in articles entitled things such as “If There’s One Thing Millennials Regret, It’s Going to College” and “Why Millennials are Struggling So Much With Life Post- College”. Millennials are infamous for being discussed in the media due to their lower marriage and homeowner rates, high unemployment rates, narcissism, and most importantly their student loan debt.  

According to NBC , 3 out of 4 millennials are in debt, with credit card and student debt crippling 46 and 36% of millennials, respectively. Less than 1/4th of the millennial population is debt free, and over 10% have an estimated amount of $100,000 in debt.

This extraordinary number is possibly an effect of the constant increase in the cost of college tuition and fees, while minimum wage only goes up at an extremely slow rate. The chart above which is based off information from the U.S. Dept. of Labor, in 1963 a full-time worker making minimum wage would only need to work only about 10 weeks just to be able to pay for 1 year of college tuition.  However, in the years 2003-2004, an individual would have to work about 50 weeks- almost a whole year, just to afford a year of tuition. Even though that was more than 10 years ago, college tuition rates have raised drastically, which minimum wage has been raised at a rate that is almost stagnant.

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