In addition to being underpaid, many teachers are struggling to pay off hefty student loans, leaving them feeling overloaded and trapped, according to results of a new survey by NPR Ed. On a scale of 1 to 5, with five being “terrified” about their student debt, 28% of respondents said they were indeed “terrified,” while another 24% selected “4”, meaning a majority of teachers surveyed were either “terrified” or just shy of being “terrified.”
Teachers who included comments with their results said such things as: “I feel like I’ll be making the last payment from my grave.” … and … “It is an albatross around my neck. Years of paying and I feel like I’m getting nowhere.”
Based on the survey, NPR Ed identified several key issues related to the student debt problem among teachers:
- They are pressured to earn more degrees.
- Anemic teacher pay worsens the situation.
- More and more teachers are going into debt to finance their education.
- Loan programs – and loan forgiveness programs – are confusing.
“It costs entirely too much money to become a teacher that gets paid barely above the poverty line,” said one teacher with more than $50,000 of debt. “Teachers today are being asked to go into heavy debt and are not being paid as the professionals they are.”
Read the entire NPR Ed article:
“I feel like I’ll be making the last payment from my grave.” “It is an albatross around my neck. Years of paying and I feel like I’m getting nowhere.” Those were some of the comments we received from more than 2,000 respondents to NPR Ed’s first Teacher Student Debt survey.