Trends In Planning

Education's Legacy of Debt

New Survey of College Students and Recent Grads Shows Loan Burden Weighs Heavily on Finances

RICHMOND, VA–(Marketwired – May 05, 2016) – College-bound students across the country are eager to start freshman year in the fall, but according to a recent survey conducted by Allianz Global Assistance, many students will carry the financial weight of tuition long after graduation.

The survey, conducted on behalf of Allianz Tuition Insurance, found that most students are paying for some or all of their tuition and expenses, which leaves little money to live on.

The bad news that this “student loan poverty” may not end soon, with many students carrying $30,000 in debt or more, is offset by the silver lining of a successful job hunt by many grads.

Most students are paying for college themselves

Key findings from the survey of almost 5,000 current college students and recent graduates include:

  • Most students are paying for their college. Of the people surveyed, nearly half (44.6 percent) are paying for their education entirely with about 61 percent saying they are at least partially paying for their own education.
  • Students can only afford to spend on essentials. After tuition, about one-in-four (23 percent) reported not having extra money to spend. More than half (52 percent) say they spend most of their extra money on food and course requirements, books and/or supplies. Very few college students say they spend most of their money on “non-essentials” like alcohol (8 percent), shopping (8 percent) and entertainment (4 percent).
  • Students leave campus with significant debt. Of those who have student loans and know how much they owe, forty percent owe at least $30,000 in student loans.
  • The post-graduation job search is successful for most. While students are carrying the financial burden of a college education, the survey shows they are finding jobs in their chosen field rather quickly. Nearly half (48 percent) found a job in their chosen field within a year after graduation, with 33 percent finding a job in less than three months.

The survey was conducted by Allianz Global Assistance to examine the financial burden that tuition places on students and families and to highlight the need to protect this large financial investment with tuition insurance.

“The return on investment for a college education is strong, but the financial sacrifice to get there can be crushing,” said Joe Mason, Chief Marketing Officer of Allianz Global Assistance. “As a majority of students are responsible for their tuition, it’s more important than ever to protect their financial investment with tuition insurance.”

Protect Your Higher Education Investment

Allianz Tuition Insurance protects residents in 47 states for both in-state and out-of-state non-refundable tuition costs and fees, including room and board, in the event that a student must withdraw from college for a reason covered by their plan.

Tuition insurance must be purchased prior to the first day of the term and is available in three different plans, including the Essential and Preferred plans, which cover withdrawals due to illness, injury or psychological issues. The Advantage plan covers these circumstances as well as any unforeseen reason. Allianz Tuition Insurance starts at $29.95 per term and each plan includes Allianz Global Assistance’s proprietary Student Life Assistance, a 24/7 service that assists families in the event that a student becomes ill or injured.

The return on investment for a college education is strong, but the financial sacrifice to get there can be crushing

“With the rising cost of tuition and the strict guidelines many schools have in place for reimbursements, it’s important for students to be aware of the options available so they have a safeguard should the unexpected happen,” added Mason.
Allianz Tuition Insurance looks to continue expanding its tuition insurance program with a goal for it to be available in all 50 states by the end of 2016.

For more information, visit

Survey Methodology

This 8-question survey was administered to the U.S. internet population in March 2016, via Google Consumer Surveys, receiving 4,885 responses. The methodology is explained here and a snapshot of survey findings is below:

  • Who is paying/paid for your education?
    44% – Me
    16% – A combination of me and my parents/family
    15% – My parents/family
    13% – None of these
    11% – Scholarships
  • Excluding tuition, where do you/did you spend most of your own spending money?
    34% – Food
    23% – I don’t/didn’t have any extra money to spend
    18% – Course requirements/books/supplies
    8% – Shopping/retail
    4% – Sporting events/entertainment
    4% – Greek life/clubs/organizations
  • How much do you currently owe in student loans?
    29% – $0-15,000
    24% – $30,000-50,000
    22% – I don’t have any student loans
    13% – $15,000-30,000
    12% – I don’t know how much I owe
  • If you have graduated, how long did it take you to find a job within your field?
    33% – 0-3 months
    15% – 3 months-one year
    9% – Over a year
    13% – I have not found a job in my chosen field
    (31 percent reported as still in college)




Allianz Global Assistance USA
Allianz Global Assistance USA is a leading consumer specialty insurance and assistance company with operation centers in 34 countries. In the U.S., Allianz Global Assistance USA (AGA Service Company) insures 21 million customers annually and is best known for its Allianz Travel Insurance plans. In addition to travel insurance, Allianz Global Assistance USA offers tuition insurance, event ticket protection, race registration protection and unique assistance services such as international medical assistance and concierge services. The company also serves as an outsource provider for in-bound call center services and claims administration for health insurers, property and casualty insurers and credit card companies. For more information visit or call 1.888.427.5045. Visit us on Facebook at
*Terms, conditions, and exclusions apply. All plans not available in all states. For a complete description of the coverage offered under your plan, carefully review your declarations page and insurance policy. Insurance coverage is underwritten by Jefferson Insurance Company (NY, Administrative Office: Richmond, VA), rated “A+” (Superior) by A.M. Best Co., under Jefferson Form No. 107-P series. Allianz Global Assistance and Allianz Tuition Insurance are brands of AGA Service Company. AGA Service Company is the licensed producer and administrator of this plan and an affiliate of Jefferson Insurance Company. The insured shall not receive any special benefit or advantage because of the affiliation between AGA Service Company and Jefferson Insurance Company.