Study Shows That Student Debt Is Emptying Small Towns
According to a recent study, rural America is no longer where college graduates want to settle down. The rising cost of education, and student debt is forcing grads to move to larger cities to pay off the debt they've accrued while getting their education. This is contributing to a higher education gap between rural America and urban America.
The Federal Reserve released statistics on the percentage of college-educated populations in rural areas vs. urban areas, showing that in 2016, just 19 percent of rural residents held college degrees, as opposed to 33 percent in urban areas. This gap has been widening over the decades.
The difference is pointed to wages. If a student stays in a rural area, they might make $50,000 a year on average, whereas in rural areas, the average jumps to $71,000. When trying to pay off student loans, especially large amounts of debt, the higher wages will draw the students away from rural areas.
There's hope on the horizon, however, as one researcher is proposing a loan forgiveness program for college graduates who purchase homes in rural parts of the country, to try to keep the gap in education from widening even further. What do you think?