- Student loan debt topped the list of regrets among college graduates in a PayScale survey, with area of study being the second-most common regret. Millennials (29%) in the survey were twice as likely as baby boomers (13%) to rank loans as a college regret.
- Among the 248,000 respondents surveyed, those who majored in education were the second most likely group to say they had "no regrets" about their educational experience. In a statement, PayScale attributed this to prior research in which it found education ranked among the most meaningful majors. Engineering majors were the second least regretful of their area of study, after educators, Payscale said. Overall, 66% of respondents said they had at least one regret about their college choice and experience.
- "Our research shows the student debt crisis is impacting today's graduates in a very real way," PayScale director Wendy Brown said in a media statement. "Not only are they struggling with the burden of student loans to pay for the rising costs of education, but they are then also faced with stagnant wages when they enter the workforce because pay for jobs in many areas of study has not kept pace with inflation."
College debt has long been considered difficult to manage, so it's no surprise that student-loan debt has become one of a challenge, particularly for younger generations of workers. Some employers are considering ways to unburden debt-laden workers and keep them engaged and productive. Research suggests employees, after all, are looking to their employers for help; 78% of workers with student debt want their employers to offer some type of student loan-related benefit, according to a 2018 CommonBond study.
There's more than one approach for HR to follow in tackling the problem. Sotheby's, the international auction house, announced plans to roll out a student loan repayment plan in October 2018, while PwC said it has paid $25 million toward eliminating its employees' student debt via a pay-down program.
While such programs can serve as attractive components of an employment proposition in recruiting, employers in a recent survey by the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans cited high costs as well as the uncertainty and complexity of implementation as barriers to adopting student-loan benefits.