- Student loan debt topped college graduates' list of regrets, followed by area of study, per a recent PayScale survey. Millennials (29%) were twice as likely as baby boomers (13%) to regret loans.
- Among the 248,000 respondents, education majors were the second-most likely group to say they had "no regrets" about their educational experience. Math and engineering majors were the least likely to regret loans. Overall, 66% of respondents had at least one regret about their college choice and experience.
- The survey comes as employers debate whether to offer loan repayment, workers seek opportunities to upskill and colleges face more competition.
College debt has long been considered difficult to manage, and it continues to grow. Some employers are considering ways to unburden debt-laden workers and keep them engaged and productive.
Research suggests employees are looking to their employers for help; 78% of workers with student debt want their employers to offer some type of student loan benefit, according to a 2018 CommonBond study. Auction house Sotheby's last fall announced plans to roll out a student loan repayment plan, while PwC said it has paid $25 million toward eliminating its employees' student debt since 2016 through a pay-down program.
However, employers cite high costs as well as the uncertainty and complexity of implementation as barriers to adopting student-loan benefits, according to a recent survey by the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans. Employees who don't plan to pursue training cited a lack of time (36%) and cost (22%) as reasons why, according to a recent Randstad survey.
Companies are also partnering with colleges to offer their workers free or heavily subsidized tuition to avoid the need for debt altogether. Walmart, for instance, recently expanded the programs and partners in its $1-a-day college degree program. The retailer also added a path for its high school student employees to earn college credit.
Institutions such as Arizona State University and National University System have developed business units and independent ventures for this purpose. Purdue University Global has also announced several corporate education partners.
In recent years, colleges have also shifted their programming to be more workforce-oriented, according to a recent report from S&P Global. They also increased tuition discounts and took advantage of low-interest rates on debt to upgrade facilities to attract new students, analysts wrote.