While Americans have largely believed that a college degree is the key to success for the last 40 years, new research has shown that many Americans are no longer satisfied with the life that a four-year college degree has allowed them to live, or with massive amounts of student loan debt.
According to a new survey by Payscale, roughly two-thirds of American employees reported having misgivings about their college degrees, a sign that the country is in the midst of a reckoning about the value of a massively expensive four-year degree.
In the survey, college graduates of all ages cited the cost of their degree as the primary reason they have regrets about their decision. Roughly 27% of survey respondents said the money that they were forced to shell out to go to college was enough to make them regret pursuing higher education.
Choice of major was the second most popular reason that an individual was likely to regret their college degree, likely due in part to the low-earning potential of several popular fields of study. Approximately 12% of all graduates polled listed their choice of degree as being a primary reason why they regretted attaining a college degree.
Of all college graduates surveyed, approximately 75% of humanities graduates had regrets about attaining their degree, followed by social sciences graduates at 73%, math graduates with 68%, and business graduates at 66%.
Another stand-out statistic from the survey was the number of senior citizens who are relying on Social Security benefits to finish paying off their student loan debts. According to Payscale’s findings, a large number of Americans aged 62 and older are using their monthly Social Security checks to pay off an estimated $86 billion dollars in outstanding student loan debt that they still owe the government.
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