The high cost of obtaining a college degree has many prospective students wondering: Is the price really worth it? Almost half of millennials with student loan debt say no.
These findings are based on a recent survey conducted by INSIDER and Morning Consult. Of the 4,400 Americans polled, 1,207 of them identified as millennials, which the survey defined as people between the ages of 22 and 37 (237 participants did not select a generation).
When asked whether accumulating student debt was worth going to college based on their current financial standing, nearly 21% of respondents said “definitely no,” while roughly 23% said “probably no.” Approximately 27% said “definitely yes,” while the remaining 26% said “probably yes.”
“For millennials who said college was definitely or probably worth it, more have previously paid off their student loans entirely (64%) than those who are still paying off student loans (48%),” Business Insider reports. “The opposite holds true for the millennials who said college was definitely or probably not worth it—more are still paying off their student loans (49%) than those who previously paid them off (33%).”
Researchers found that their answers were consistent even among those who have substantially less debt; an equal percentage of millennials who said college was worth it and millennials who said college wasn’t worth it currently owe less than $10,000.
Economist Richard Vedder says that the rising cost of college is largely to blame for its weakening value.
The “advantage of a degree today is less than it was 10 years ago, because of the rising cost,” Vedder explained. “The return on investment has fallen.”
Couple that with the fact that more people are attending college than ever before, and it’s clear why a degree doesn’t hold the same merit as it once did.
“The rewards for college have expanded and grown from 1985 to a little after 2000 and sort of leveled off in the past decade,” Vedder concluded.