College is expensive.
And it gets pricier every year. The cost of tuition has increased by 17% in the past 5 years, according to The College Board. The other thing increasing? The amount of student loans students take out to pay these rapidly growing tuition costs. The average borrower walks away with $31,172 in student loan debt. The average monthly loan payment is $393.
That monthly payment might be entirely doable. However, depending upon where you go to college and what you choose to study, it might not.
Glossy college brochures feature smiling students wearing university sweatshirts and talk about future earnings and exciting job opportunities upon completion. But how much of that is marketing? And how much of that is the truth?
We created this calculator to help students determine the amount of loans they can afford to take out without crippling their future selves with debt.
Our calculator is powered with data from The College Scorecard. We looked at over 3,200 schools and 255 majors.
We take median graduate earnings for choice of college and major. If you don't select a college, we use the median earnings for the major, for students from all colleges.
To determine the max amount of loans you should take out, we assume a standard 10 year payback. Since it is recommended that student loans make up 10% or less of your monthly salary, that is the max amount we recommend. Anything more than that and you might find yourself struggling to pay for food and other necessities like rent.
It is important to remember these are median earnings-- meaning some graduates earn less and some earn more. However, it is a good baseline to consider when taking out loans.
We also only look at bachelor's degree earnings. If you plan to use your Biology degree to go to medical school or your political science degree for law school, your future earnings might look a lot different.
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We realized that quite often, people don’t know much about their career options, and how to change or advance their career. While we tried our best to mentor them, it was frustrating to know that there were still millions of people out there who we couldn’t help.
And then we noticed something else: The internet can answer almost any of our questions today – how to build a house, how to buy a car, or how to find love. But even though choosing a career is one of the most important decisions of our life, there is very little reliable guidance available online.
This is why we decided to build a platform that gives everybody the tools to find the career that is right for them.