Public Opinion on College Hits New Low

As more people weigh the age-old question of whether college is worth the investment, GOBankingRates went straight to the experts on the subject: college graduates.

A recent survey of 500 college graduates by GOBankingRates revealed some intriguing data about how Americans really feel about the value of their college degrees. While an overwhelming majority of those surveyed said they don’t necessarily regret going to college, many don’t believe the return on investment was worthwhile.

A large swath of the respondents said their student debt is shackling them financially. The survey found that, of the respondents polled:

  • 36% can’t save for retirement
  • 32% can’t go on vacation
  • 28% can’t be financially independent
  • 21% can’t own their own home
  • 17% can’t pursue a job they’re passionate about

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Nearly 10 percent of those polled carry more than $50,000 in student loan debt, and 37% more than $15,000. That is not surprising when you consider the total amount of student loan debt in America is in excess of $1.5 trillion and impacts nearly 45 million people.

While most of those surveyed don’t regret college overall, there are those who wish they had taken it more seriously. Most of their regrets fall into the category of self-inflicted wounds and a desire to have a heart-to-heart conversation with their younger selves.

If they could do it all over again:

  • 1 in 4 graduates said they would choose a different major.
  • 19% wish they had studied harder.

The overarching takeaway from the survey is that a little over two in five Americans feel that their time at college simply wasn’t worth the debt they were ultimately saddled with.

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