Should future teachers be taking out massive loans to get their master’s of education degrees?
A March 26, 2014 report by the New America Foundation points out that as much as 40 percent of the $1 trillion in student debt outstanding was borrowed not for college, but to pay for grad school. And some 80% of of the debt incurred by students who finished their grad school programs in 2012 wasn’t for people going into medicine, law or business, but for less profitable professions, such as teaching. Indeed, the average graduate of a master’s in education degree finished with more than $50,000 in debt — $8,000 more than the debt of a typical MBA graduate. That’s a 66% increase in the debts of newly minted teachers since 2004. Another way to think about it is that the average newly minted teacher in 2012 has to pay $429 a month in student debt payments. Half owed more.
The report’s authors predict that these teachers and other indebted graduates won’t be able to earn enough money to afford to pay back their loans. That will leave taxpayers holding the bag, effectively subsidizing schools of education. <Read more.>