Which College Degrees Lead To The Most Student Loan Debt?

Posted on August 26, 2015 at 12:00pm by

Student loan debt has approached astronomical levels in the United States, reaching a record high of $1.2 trillion total. Some students are far more likely to have debt loads exceeding $100,000 than others. For some majors, it is common to carry mortgage-sized loan balances.

Most degrees with the largest amounts of student loan debt are highly specialized, such as law and medical school. Although these degrees can lead to greater career success, they could cause some financial struggle along the way.

  • Medical Doctorate: In 2015, the American Association of Medical Colleges assessed the cost of attendance for medical school students at $226,447 to $298,538. The median debt held by medical school students in 2014 stood at $180,000. Interest that accumulates during residency can cause the principal balance to increase substantially.
  • Juris Doctor: The Juris Doctor degree has long been considered an accomplishment that guarantees financial and career success in life. Unfortunately, not all law schools were created equal. At the Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego during the 2013 school year, students had an average of $180,000 in loans but only three in ten graduates had legal jobs upon graduation. For-profit law schools around the nation have similar numbers.
  • Masters Business Administration (MBA): Data from US News & World Report suggests business school graduates finish with an average debt of $56,157. For graduates of private schools, student loan debt can go higher than $115,000.

Can Graduates File For Bankruptcy On Student Loans?

Depending on the degree, school attended, economic conditions and plans for post-graduation, student loan debt can become anything but an American dream, perhaps an American nightmare. Fortunately, some students may be able to benefit from filing for bankruptcy. Depending on the circumstances, it may be possible to discharge or reduce the balances of student loans.

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