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Grad school popularity will likely spur more student borrowing

Feb 04, 2013 Philip Burgess

Debt collection agencies have likely kept their eyes on the increasing student loan totals in recent years, although rising tuition costs may not be the only reason for this growth. According to a recent HigherEdge Marketing Services study, graduate school is turning into more of a requirement than a luxury. 

The report found that the volume of people with post-graduate degrees increased 46 percent from 2000 to 2010, while jobs that require Master's and Doctorates are projected to rise 22 percent and 20 percent, respectively, between 2010 and 2020. Americans with graduate degrees also earn 72 percent more income during their lifetimes than people with a Bachelor's, with an unemployment rate approximately half as high

A recent Federal Reserve consumer credit report found that non-revolving debt - the sector that consists of auto and student loans - increased nearly 10 percent between October and November, including a nearly $5 billion growth in student loans alone. By comparison, total consumer credit grew just 7 percent while credit card spending rose 1.1 percent. 

Another study by FICO and PRMIA revealed that banks will likely continue acquiescing student loan requests over the next six months. According to the survey, nearly 70 percent of bank risk professionals believe credit supply will meet or exceed demand when it comes to borrowing for higher education.