Student debt is on the rise, and instead of incurring that debt at a young age, some people are choosing to put off college.
TD Ameritrade (AMTD) partnered with The Harris Poll and surveyed over 3,000 Gen Z’s, “young” millennials, and parents for the 2019 Young Americans & College Survey to uncover exactly why there’s been a shift in attitude towards attending college.
The survey found that a quarter of young millennials (those ages 22-28) are putting off college or trade school because of associated costs. Nearly one in five young millennials haven’t gone to college or trade school and aren’t sure they ever will.
“There are some students who are saying a four-year traditional degree may not be for me,” Dara Luber, TD Ameritrade’s Senior Manager of Retirement, told Yahoo Finance’s YFI AM on Tuesday. “There’s always going to be a need for those who go to trade schools. So there could be a shift in how you’re approaching life after high school.”
According to the study, 20% of young millennials have over $50,000 in debt, and are also expecting to be paying off student debt past the age of 50.
“More students are seeing the need to not only go to college, but I think part of the increase in the debt is also the need or the feeling that you need to go on to go to grad school to achieve the right job,” Luber said.
Although some parents remain adamant that their children attend college, others have experienced student debt themselves, and understand why their children wouldn’t want that burden.
“They [parents] understand what it is to have to pay back those loans, and how much it could impact not only for themselves, but for their students, future retirement savings, being able to buy their first home, get married, and have children. All those downstream impacts of having to pay back their student loans when they get out of college,” Luber said.
Students are considering options like taking online classes, completing a two-year degree instead of a four-year degree, and taking a gap year.
Jennifer is a Production Assistant for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @shankerjennifer