While Tuition Costs Skyrocket, Earnings For College Graduates Are Declining

College costs have sextupled since 1985, pushing America’s college students farther into debt from student loans that are now nearing $1 trillion nationwide. There are now more delinquencies on student loans than there are for credit cards and mortgages, and the threat of student loan debt is far-reaching in its effect: it has exacerbated the housing slump, jeopardized the finances of elderly Americans, and it is being securitized by banks in a way that resembles the mortgage industry before the housing crisis. That debt burden is made even worse for young Americans, though, by the fact that their earnings haven’t kept up with the cost of college. While college costs have soared 72 percent in the last decade, average earnings for college degree-holders have fallen nearly 15 percent: