By Valerie Bauman Social Affairs Reporter For Dailymail.com
Published: 21:23 BST, 19 April 2019 | Updated: 21:26 BST, 19 April 2019
Some 36 percent of college graduates with student loans say the debt wasn't worth the degree they earned, according to a new survey.
On average, young adults graduate with $36,888 in student debt – and it's becoming a burden that has many wondering if their education was worth it, according to the survey of more than 2,700 U.S. adults ages 18-34 by Merrill Lynch and Age Wave.
The survey also found that those young adults allocate an average of 9 percent of their pre-tax salary for student loan repayments – averaging $371 a month for 10 years.
The problem is far-reaching: nearly half (43.3 percent) of young American families have student loan debt, according to Federal Reserve data.
The higher degree a person earns, the higher their lifetime earning potential. Source: Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce
The total U.S. student loan debt of roughly 44 million Americans is now more than $1.5 trillion, according to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve.
'Higher education is supposed to be the great equalizer,' Maggie Thompson, executive director of Generation Progress, told DailyMail.com.
'If we live in an economy where you need a higher education to get ahead … We need to go back to a model where people have the ability to get a high quality degree without the debt,' she added.