EPI's weekly illustration of education data trends — June 2, 2017

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Percentage of undergraduate students who would change at least one education decision, by student loan debt


Data from a new Gallup/Strada Education Network Survey show that the level of debt has an impact on whether students would make changes in how they went about their postsecondary degree program. As illustrated in the graphic below, only a small percentage of students would obtain a different degree. Those with significant student debt (above $75,000) said they would choose to change degrees more than others with lower or no student debt. When asked whether they would choose a differnet major, approximately, 41 percent of students—regardless of student debt—said they would do so. Thirty-eight percent of students with over $75,000 in debt said they would pick a different institution, compared to 30 percent of those with $25,000 to $75,000 in debt, and approximately 23 percent of those with less or no debt. When asked if they would make one or more decisions differenlty, 63 percent of the high-debt students said yes. Half of those with no debt said they would do the same.

SOURCE: SOURCE: On Second Thought: U.S. Adults Reflect on Their Education Decisions. A Gallup Publication, June 2017.