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Under the Magnifying Glass: A Closer Look at Student Loan Debt

Women In Optometry is breaking down the data from its latest Pop-Up Poll on student loan debt and looking at the way student loan debt may differ among graduates in different time periods. This first chart shows the graduation grouping percentages among the 401 optometrist respondents to this poll. The largest groupings of respondents included 29 percent who graduated 2016 and later, and another 25 percent graduate between 2010 and 2015.

 

Below, we take a closer look at the responses from each of these groups of graduating classes.

CLASSES OF 2016 AND LATER

A staggering 51 percent of these graduates of these classes of 2016 and later had between $200,000 and $300,000 of student debt at time of graduation. Thirty-six percent report that they have $200,000 and $300,000 of student debt now.



CLASSES OF 2010 TO 2015

About 45 percent of these graduates had between $200,000 and $300,000 in student loan debt. Another 34 percent had $150,000 to $200,000.



CLASSES OF 2005 TO 2009

The number of graduates expecting to need more than 20 years to pay off their loans is on the rise with these graduates, up to 26 percent.



CLASSES OF 2000 TO 2004

The number of graduates expecting to need more than 20 years to pay off their loans doubles to 53 percent.



CLASSES OF 1990 TO 1999

In this segment, nearly half of respondents (47 percent) stated that they had student loan debt between $100,000 and $150,000.



CLASSES OF 1989 AND EARLIER

All of the OD respondents in this graduation grouping had paid off their debt. The most common amount borrowed at graduation time was $10,000 and $50,000; 82 percent said that they had debt in this amount as a new grad.

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