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Students: Loans

Volume 461: debated on Thursday 21 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will commission a study of the average number of years a graduate has to work to pay off student debt, basing the calculation on the additional earning power of their degree over the salary of a non-graduate. (143441)

[holding answer 18 June 2007]: Graduates earn considerably more than non-graduates. Over their working life, the average graduate will earn comfortably over £100,000 more in today’s valuation, than a similar individual who just had A-levels. The benefits of a degree are not just financial: holders of HE qualifications are about half as likely to be unemployed as non-graduates and graduates tend to live longer and be healthier than non-graduates.

The repayments on student loans vary according to the income of the individual borrower. Based on projected lifetime earnings for all graduates, the average time taken by individuals entering HE in 2006/07 who will fully repay their student loans is estimated to be around 13 years.