It’s not only the U.S. that is dealing with outsized student loan debt, apparently, New Zealand is as well.
With rising tuition costs, obtaining a college degree is no longer feasible for many young adults in these two countries. And, those that do attend are often unable to repay the debt they accrue to attend college.
According to the tk, the New Zealand government said student debt has “ballooned” with the average borrower now owing $21,000. The government also found that there are close to 731,800 borrowers in New Zealand and the outstanding debt total is now over $15.3 billion. That is still a far cry from the debt the U.S collectively owes which currently stands at more than $1.3 trillion.
Another similarity between the U.S. and New Zealand is that the lion’s share of borrowers, 90 percent in New Zealand and about 60 percent, need student loans in order to pay for college.
Why the increase in college costs and the accompanying debt?
The New Zealand government found in 2015 that 64 percent of all of the money borrowed went to fees. Coming in second, was money borrowed for the cost of living, which accounted for 26.1 percent of the student loans in 2015. And just like in the U.S., bachelor degree students borrowed less than their graduate student counterparts. New Zealand found bachelor degree students borrowed an average of $9,676 in 2015 while those pursuing a master’s degree borrowed $10,300 on average.
While all of this may seem like a lot of money to borrow, it is minor in comparison to U.S. student loan borrowers. For the Class of 2015, borrowers owed $16,033 on average.
As for the costs of a college degree, according to the College Board for the 2016-2017 school year, a private college will cost $33,480, while an in-state public school will cost an average of $9,650. Students attending an out-of-state public school will see tuition of $24,930 on average.
At least residents in the U.S. and New Zealand can find solace in the fact that they aren’t alone when it comes to student debt.
Author: Dave Rathmanner
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