As the cost of an education rises, a record share of adults are leaving college with not just a degree but with substantial debt. In fact, the average borrower graduating from a four-year college today leaves school with roughly $23,000 of student debt. The biggest victim of this debt appears to be the ability to simply make ends meet. Among adults who took out loans to help pay for college, 48% say paying back those loans make it harder for them to pay their other bills. The financial burden of college debt does not seem to have such a large impact on other aspects of life. A quarter of adults who took out loans to pay for college say that debt has made it harder to buy a home. A similar portion (24%) say it has had an impact on the kind of career they are pursuing. Just 7% say having to pay back student loans has delayed their getting married or starting a family. Read More

Russell Heimlich  is a former web developer at Pew Research Center.