Class Of 2015 Sets Student Debt Record

Tyler Durden's picture

Having been one of the very first sources for in-depth analysis about what has become a $1.3 trillion problem, we’ve happily watched as the mainstream financial news media has gone on what seems like a student loan debt story binge over the past several months. Indeed not a day goes by without a someone else commenting on either the inexorable rise in student debt, soaring tuition rates, or the rather dismal job prospects for recent graduates. 

Here’s a remarkably concise recap of everything that’s happened in the past three months. With student debt soaring out of control (and government projections suggesting the burden may grow to $3.3 trillion by 2025), the White House is assessing ways to tackle the problem even as it closes down for-profit schools costing taxpayers hundreds of millions. Low oil prices are forcing Louisiana to consider deep cuts to education funding, which, if realized would send LSU to the edge of bankruptcy. We’ve been pounding the table on delinquency rates, arguing  that if deferments, forbearance, and IBR are taken into account, actual delinquencies are probably above 40%, a sentiment echoed by Moody’s who warned that $3 billion in student loan-backed paper is at risk for default. Finally, a Georgetown study shows that if you want to survive in the post-crisis world, you’ll major in petroleum engineering and if you want to go broke once the student loan checks stop coming in, you’ll major in childhood education. 

With that, we bring you the latest bit of news from the world of trillion-dollar education bubbles and it comes from WSJ who notes that the class of 2015 has something to be proud of: it’s the most indebted class of all time.

Via WSJ:

The class of 2015 is reaching new heights, though perhaps not the way it had hoped.


College graduates this year are leaving school as the most indebted class ever, a title they’ll hold exclusively for all of about 12 months if current trends hold.


The average class of 2015 graduate with student-loan debt will have to pay back a little more than $35,000, according to an analysis of government data by Mark Kantrowitz, publisher at Edvisors, a group of websites about planning and paying for college. Even adjusted for inflation, that’s still more than twice the amount borrowers had to pay back two decades earlier.


All together, total education debt–including federal and private education loans–will tally nearly $68 billion this year for graduates with a bachelor’s degree and their parents, Mr. Kantrowitz estimates, a more than 10-fold increase since 1994…


 *  *  *

Dear Class of 2015, 

Because we recognize your plight, allow us to provide you with a bit of friendly advice as it realtes to your student loans. Once you are uncerimoniously thrown from your dorm into the less-than robust US jobs market, you will likely discover that contrary to what you were told in your economics courses, the US economy is but a shadow of its former self. Because you probably didn't study to become a petroleum engineer, you will likely find your student debt burden to be quite onerous. The key to having it discharged is to make just enough money to stay clear of bankruptcy, but not enough to really survive above the poverty line. This is because it's hard to have student debt discharged in the event you go completely broke. However, if your discretionary income is so small as to render you incapable of making payments, the government will start you on a program whereby a monthly payment of zero dollars counts towards the 300 "payments" you need to make to have your debt forgiven. Toe this line carefully (i.e. don't slip up and start making too much discretionary income) and the entirety of your student debt will be forgiven in 25 short years without your ever having to pay a dime.

You're welcome,

Zero Hedge

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q99x2's picture

Awh hell. Quit your belly-aching. Nobody is going to pay that back so don't worry about it.

localsavage's picture

I am sure that the plan is to forgive all of these loans and just stack it on the debt pile....Merica fuck Ya 

Save_America1st's picture

Maybe ZH can hire a graduate to proof read your posts before you post them, ay?  Help a kid out who's in debt for $100,000 Bernankies:


"Because we recognize your plight, allow us to provide you with a bit of friendly advice as it realtes to your student loans"

My guess is 99% of these "graduates" wouldn't have caught that error anyway.  They don't read and can't write.  Your letter to the students should have been narrowed to under 140 characters with contractions, acronyms (they don't know what that words means but they know what WTF or OMG means), and throw in a few emogee-con happy and frowny faces so that they could have understood it better on Twitter.  Then wrap it up w/ a winky face.


TeamDepends's picture

As a last resort move to save the Republic, the Obama Adminstration has commisioned Girls Gone Wild to set up camp on EVERY college campus, in order to attack, head on, this scourge upon the very foundation of society.

Creepy A. Cracker's picture

I kind of like it when my taxi driver has a PhD in history.  Helps with the cab ride conversation.  The ones with PhD's in womyn's studies - don't even think about getting into that taxi. 

duo's picture

As I walk down the hall and look into the cubicles of dozens of 20-somethings at one of my Fortune 50 customers, all I see are Facebook pages.  Occasionally there's an Excel spreadsheet on a second monitor, but mostly social media BS.

TheReplacement's picture

OTOH, we all know that as serious as the Tylers are, they don't all intend for ZH to be taken seriously.  Hence the good info and atrocious writing.  It is just another way to put the truth out there and discredit it at the same time.  Nice job Tyler(x).

N3mo's picture

The Indentured Servants, sorry, graduates, had better repudiate en-masse, and PDQ.

The existence of fraud vitiates any and all contracts, adhesion contracts doubly so.

Student Loans (along with every other type of loan that does not involve one human being handing another human being the money) are fraud.

Forgiveness can only be granted in honor.

It is they (the Fraudsters, Banksters, Polycrats, etc.) who should be asking for OUR forgiveness.

Not to mention that Northern Trust and Holdings (DBA "IRS, Inc.") will expect those "forgiven" to cough up their pound of flesh.

No, forgiveness is a BAD thing.

Repudiate, repudiate, repudiate.

Perseus son of Zeus's picture

Free, online, $100/ exam. Easy. Get your edubacation now!

yogibear's picture

That's right banksters saturate the serfs up with debt.

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

My 8th grader asked me what to study at University.  I told her:  Petroleum Engineering, with a Minor in Computer Science, and Project Management skills on the side.

She plans to NOT study in the US, but to go abroad.  Some place with a real university.

yellowsub's picture

You should tell her to pack her bags now and go to a country that offers a real education.

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Good point.  Which is why she's taking AP (Advanced Placement) courses to amp her A grades further.

She did Balet and Gymnastics for a few years, and is now into Music (Violin) and Foreign Languages, to help her career path.  Not your typical Public School kid.  It's the boys I worry about... they were so glued to their electronics gizmos, that I now make them earn "gaming & TV time".  Thankfully, with summer approaching, they are now more into outdoor activities (cycling and basketball, and swimming next month).

uno's picture

getting in a top 10 engineering school is the answer, for petro engr there are very few schools, she could get a Mech engr and the oil companies will put new hires through training.  Petro is either all good or all bad, I saw that first hand in the early 80's in louisiana.  problem is once you get a job you have a couple years to pick a direction, after that you are labeled.  Switching paths gets tough since companies would rather get new hires to train.  As long as a engr school has national recruiting, she would be fine, the ones to worry about are lower tier 1 and tier 2+ which have only local recruiting.  As I worded in another thread, get co-op/intern experience - huge difference when employers see industry related experience.

nscholten's picture

Sounds like another slave in the making to me.  So scared she is only looking at dollar signs like her daddy has brainwashed her into thinking.  Maybe she could go to school and do something useful instead of sucking the oligarchs dick

nscholten's picture

Sounds like another slave in the making to me.  So scared she is only looking at dollar signs like her daddy has brainwashed her into thinking.  Maybe she could go to school and do something useful instead of sucking the oligarchs dick

Perseus son of Zeus's picture

Hey Kirk. israel right? Tell us the truth for once.

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

LOL.  No, I had not thought of that.  She's thinking of studying in Canada or England for her Bachelors and Masters, and the US if she goes for on a PhD.  She's also tempted to study in Paris or Munich.

But I did tell her (half in jest) that she may want to know some basic Yiddish and Hebrew (to help her get ahead), if her bosses turn out to be Dual Citizens.  If they were Martian, I'd advise her to learn Martian.  Pragmatism 101.

BTW, if you speak German (which I do), you automatically understand about 50% of Yiddish, since that language has Central European roots. 

nscholten's picture

If it wasn't for Fascism we wouldn't even need petroleum engineers

Amy G. Dala's picture

MT Tech or Colorado School of Mines.  I did my premed at MT Tech, and the petroleum engineer major was brutal.  No grade inflation there.  Even in 1994-96, the PE grads were getting $90-110K/yr offers, depending on willingness to relocate.

Buys a kid a lot of beer.

Suisse's picture

Foreign degrees are worth much less in the US and lots of them are only three years in length. You won't be able to study Petroleum Engineering abroad and that major is either really good or really bad depending on timing.

sessinpo's picture

Kirk2NCC1701      My 8th grader asked me what to study at University.  I told her:  Petroleum Engineering, with a Minor in Computer Science, and Project Management skills on the side.

She plans to NOT study in the US, but to go abroad.  Some place with a real university.


I would actually recommend a trade with an emphasis on self sufficiency. Bullshit education is not limited to the US. You can get the same BS abroad. As I predicted, oil is in collapse and will be for decades. Computer Science is also peaking. Project Management is a broad based skill, not specific, thus not specialized and as valued.

Trade skills is where it is at and the future until decades after the reset.

Anyway, since it sounds sexist, she is a girl, thus I suggest homemaking skills and picking a good future partner. Sorry, just my politically incorrect opinion.

Abbie Normal's picture

"Petroleum Engineering, with a Minor in Computer Science, and Project Management skills on the side."

More of those were probably laid off in the past year than will graduate over the next decade.  For those upcoming grads, pray that the price of oil isn't still below $75 on your commencement date.

yellowsub's picture

And who says the millenials aren't motivated.

Dixie Flatline's picture
Dixie Flatline (not verified) May 8, 2015 5:38 PM

You have to laugh when the two parties play their "We'll better fund education, teachers, and schools!" games every election cycle.  Couple that with the lottery, where they super pinky swear that all proceeds go to education.


Amy G. Dala's picture

Yes Dixie, the lottery was going to fund K-12 in Oregon forever.  No more want for "our" children and "our" future.

I'm waiting for some state governor to say, ya know this lottery is really a bad tax on the 47%ers, only those least able to afford it gamble . . .let's ditch it!  It would be the morally correct thing to do!

And then the state treasurer informs the governor, that is a beautiful idea.  Except for one thing.  We already spent the next 30 years of lottery revenue by issuing lottery bonds.

Government needs you to pay taxes's picture

Not to worry, a gentle draft of hyperinflation will enable these fine youngsters the opportunity to pay it all off by flipping 200 burgers or turning 5 tricks.

americanreality's picture

Is this just back door funding for college towns?  That's a lot of money being pumped in through the students.  I'm thinking that a pull-back in loans to students would severely  affect local economies.  

Amy G. Dala's picture

Examine the lifestyle of a tenured university professor, and you will see where the money goes.

See that mansion on a leafy street in the hills above campus?  See that sabbatical in Aruba, and the condo in Cabo?  And don't forget the six-figure pension.  This shit costs money, kid.  Pony up.

Colonel Walter E Kurtz's picture

Yes it is. Universities and their favorite developers are mining that cash stream by building lavish dorm projects all over the US, because those funds are no longer only earmarked for tuition expenses. This world has gone absolutely apeshit on the "what's the monthly payment" way of living. 

Dixie Flatline's picture
Dixie Flatline (not verified) May 8, 2015 5:51 PM

$35,000 @ ~7% over 30 years is ~$200/mo with total interest just shy of $50,000.

What a way to enter adulthood!

ted41776's picture

be prepared to reverse mortgage your education by working like a slave for the rest of your life for next to nothing... might as well get a few credit cards, party for a while like it's 1999 and then file for bankruptcy


it doesn't take a college degree to know that the future isn't looking very bright...

Porous Horace's picture

The same journalists who are reporting this disaster were reporting how great it was when the government decided to give everybody loans in the first place.

MEFOBILLS's picture

In 1700 European people’s in the U.S. still sailed in square rigged sailing ships, and used plows not much different than that of Rome.

Amerindians never invented sails or wheels, so they are excluded.

Between 1700 and 1900 these European settlers advanced humankind probably 2000 years.  The settled a continent and invented the modern age.   The first powered flights were in 1903, and light bulb invented in 1879.

Question:  How many college degrees were dispersed amongst this population?

In WW2, there was radar, jet engines, synthetic rubber, nuclear technology, etc. 

Question:  What was the percentage of college degrees amongst this population?

What really matters is the creativity of the population –their inherent genetic potential.  The next thing that matters is the political and economic system. 

We can easily afford college degrees for everybody as modern economies produce plenty of economic surplus, witness the experience of Canada 1938-74, or even California when it had a proper economy.  Today however, our economic surplus is siphoned away to Oligarchy.  The entire excess economic surplus of the last 30 years has been harvested to finance, as if finance was the necessary component of economic progress.

History tells us the College doesn’t really matter.  It’s too bad that we have such a perverted economic system that people feel it is necessary to take on a lifetime of debt, and hence lose their freedom.

Our hypnotic trance and slavery is complete.

Amy G. Dala's picture

I don't think anybody would argue that in the year 2015, education is more valuable than credentials.  I'm not sure where the tipping point was.


Manipuflation's picture

Nice to meet you Amy.  The answer you seek is at least partially here.

You will note the history.  You will then put the peices of the puzzle together.  The .govs think they are a religion but none of them offers salvation.  All those fuckers offer are fines, fees and penalties in name of keeping you safe.  Really?     

Manipuflation's picture

You can major in Raging Alcholism and Chemical Dependency Studies as well get a minor in Men's/Women's 2 AM Anatomy studies without having to go to college.  You can still go and PRETEND to be a college students and the chicks won't know the differance.  I did go to college and somehow graduated but I did see that going on with guys showing up at parties who were not college students but had money.  Most were in a trade apprenticeship.  If I had it to do all over again I would have been an electrician and a journeyman stint.  You always need a good electrician.  Plumbers, welders etc.  I went to college for horticulture/agriculture but there are issues with decision for a number of reasons.

What I really want to do is move to Colorado and grow some "medicinal marijuana".  How do I write that resume?  Potential job interview question:  "Have you ever had any experience growing marijuana before?".  My answer would have to be:  "I can't recall but I know a lot of great seedstock comes out of Canada.";-)  I rather grow it myself anyway.

I have had numerous younger guys as me,(high school and post high school) ask what they think I should do because they know I was middle management have been the block a few times.  The only think I can thnk to say is to not rack up huge amounts of non-dischargable debt.  They do not know what that means of course but they listen because I am still young at heart and I get along them.  I can sort of relate to the world that they grew up in.  If you are an 18 year old kid today you probably have no idea what happened in 2008 nor what led up to it.  I don't most adults even know.  Hell, even here us here on ZH don't know the exact details of the bullshit has went on/is going on but we have peeled back a quite few layers of that onion.  I remember how it all went down and I will never forget it.  Most ZHers remember and will never forget it.  

How old were the class of 2015 kids when 9/11 went down?  Does that put things into a scary perspective? I have a four year-old son.  2008's financial debacle and all of the wars are a non-factor to him.  It is not his fault though because he just can't comprehend something like that yet.  He want's to imitate his father so of course he wants a coin collection.  OK, so I have done that with not ruining the coins I give him.  He likes to open the 2x2's and finger the coin all up and then leave laying on the floor.LOL  My son's coin collection consists of common clad coinage right now for that reason.  My ten year old daughter on the other hand is much more reliable.  Because I took the time to teach her the same way I am teaching my son that in fact she was ready for her first actual silver coins and now has a small collection of coins that she hoards and hides.  She has several ounces of bullion as well.  The next step will be to convince her that she needs to do some sort work to earn fiats to buy her own coins.  One step at a time.  My older brother helped me learn about acquiring some coins when I was young and I am glad he did because he was so right.  I have to do the same.

One peice of advice and one gripe I have with the Millennials is the excessive use of the smartphone.  For fuck sakes, when someone is having a conversation or trying to do business with you face to face you do not NEED to instantly reply to some text or FaceFuck post.  It makes you look a self-absorbed retarded asshole.  My time is valuable too and nothing that you get via text requires an immediate response.  Put the fucking phone away already and pay attention to the person in front of you and look where you are walking.  

Fuck it, I am going to go ride my PAID FOR Harley without texting my friends while riding.

Best of Luck      



monad's picture

Its changed a whole lot since you danced through. I suggest you sign up through the extension vector for a high level class in whatever you are sure you know cold. At least triple OMFG...

Manipuflation's picture

I don't like signing anything.  Get it?

monad's picture

You're unscannable!!! UNSCANNABLE! UNSCANNABLE!

Seriously, don't sign. Just "audit". You will be amazed at how far the cancer has progressed. But if you sign you'll get the full diss.

Go. Look.

Policraticus's picture

You are giving your children a leg up on the future.  I hope it is enough.

JessieSharpton's picture
JessieSharpton (not verified) Manipuflation May 8, 2015 11:16 PM

"Fuck it, I am going to go ride my PAID FOR Harley without texting my friends while riding."

Screw you!

My loud, overpriced, ignorant distraction is more vaulable than yours!

I say we purge all harley boomer owners just on principal alone.

WTFUD's picture

Iffffffffffffffff (big if ) i could turn back time , i would . . . .