Students are paying about 40% more for college, a new study has found, with many of them saddled with the highest levels of student debt ever recorded.
The analysis, published Tuesday by the Pew Research Center, found that for the first time, Americans over the age of 26 who attended college at least once in their lifetimes in 2015 earned about $2,700 more annually on average than those who did not.
The study’s authors said the data was from the most recent four-year period, which includes the 2015-16 school year.
“In most cases, these additional annual payments are in the form of tuition and fees,” the study states.
“And in some cases, the payments are substantially larger than these expenses, as in cases where college tuition is higher than the cost of living.”
Pew said the findings are especially noteworthy because of the “disparity in student debt.”
In 2017, nearly 30% of all students had student debt, compared with about 20% for the general public.