According to an independent analysis performed by the Institute for College Access and Success, 71 percent of last year's graduates owed student loans -- up from 68 percent who graduated with debt in 2008. They were $29,400 in the hole, on average, in 2012 compared to $23,450 four years earlier.
"This new analysis provides a wake-up call for federal lawmakers to take a closer look at the impact of student debt on our recovering economy,"declared Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.). "With more students borrowing more money than ever before, a generation of young adults will be forced to put important life decisions like buying a home on hold while they pay back their loans, constraining their ability to contribute to a robust economic rebound." The Oakland, Calif.-based institute based its findings on a quadrennial report of federal data from a survey of student aid as well as on student loan statistics reported on a voluntary basis by an estimated 1,000 colleges.