Talent   //   September 21, 2022

By the numbers: The real cost of a degree

It costs a lot of money to get a degree. In fact, the average federal student loan debt balance in the U.S. is $37,667, according to the Education Data Initiative.

While middle-income students are most likely to take out student loans (at 58.4%), 54.1% of all independent undergraduate students took out federal student loans, according to the data. President Biden’s recent announcement to forgive $10,000 worth of student debt for many borrowers got us at WorkLife thinking about how much a college degree costs compared to luxury items.

Using the Education Data Initiative’s report on median debt according to major, we compiled a list of popular undergraduate and graduate degrees to materially contextualize the cost — for some — of pursuing higher education.