May 15, 2019

College Graduates Optimistic About Future Despite Mounting Loan Debt & Housing Costs [INFOGRAPHIC]

2019 Cengage Student Opportunity Index Infographic, which represents how college grads are optimistic despite loans and rising housing costs.

Cengage sponsored a survey conducted by Wakefield Research to explore the opportunity environment for graduates across 17 indicators, including economic, employment, social and personal well-being. The findings revealed that students are largely optimistic about their future, despite challenges such as student loan debt and housing costs.

“A college education has long been seen as the path to a better job and, ultimately, a better life….The Index shows that college is still a solid investment, but students’ optimism about their futures signals they don’t yet appreciate how loan debt and housing costs may impact their ability to find the jobs they want. This clearly underscores the need for the education ecosystem to work together on policies and programs that make college more affordable and help students transition from college to the workplace.”  – Michael E. Hansen, CEO, Cengage

Key findings:

  • 93 percent of soon-to-be graduates think they’ll land a job related to their educational background within 6 months of graduating, but only 60 percent do.
  • 51 percent of recent and upcoming graduates say they have student loan debt. Among those with debt, the average amount is $22,919.
  • 65 percent of respondents say they will have to move away from their current area to afford a house.
  • 71 percent of respondents think the country’s economic outlook is the same or better than when they first began college. Sixty-one percent think they will be better off than their parents.