Whatever their feelings on higher education, fewer consumers think the sometimes-massive loans incurred to get it are worth the trouble.
A report released Thursday by Mintel, a global reasearch firm, found just 20% of consumers think student loans are a good investment, down from 54% in 2012.
Mintel surveyed 2,217 Americans 18 and older.
In 2012, the majority or respondents were paying less than $300 a month (79%), and only 21% had payments over that amount. Two years later, half of respondents had monthly payments of $300 or less, and the percentage paying more than $300 every month increased to 30%. Furthermore, 5% were actually paying more than $1,000.
“Clearly there are other ways to go to school besides taking out an enormous amount of money to do so, but I think there’s also a question about the absolute value of the thousands of dollars or whatever that you’re going to spend to go to school,” Robyn Kaiserman, a financial services analyst at Mintel, told ThinkAdvisor on Monday.
She added that improvements in the economy might also contribute to falling enrollment rates at colleges. “There’s some thinking that the improvement in the economy is not helping college enrollment either, as some people who may have opted to get a job who couldn’t get a job and were going to school as their default position,” she said. “Now that there are jobs, some of those people are going to work instead of going to school, or they’re starting school and dropping out to get the work that they couldn’t get a couple of years ago.”