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Why Are More Young People Than Ever Moving Back Home?

studentdebtforhire.jpg

In this Saturday, Aug. 6, 2011 file picture, students attend graduation ceremonies at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Ala. The number of borrowers defaulting on federal student loans has jumped sharply, the latest indication that rising college tuition costs, low graduation rates and poor job prospects are getting more and more students over their heads in debt.

CREDIT: AP Photo/Butch Dill

After a few years of freedom, it's not unreasonable to assume that many young people might be horrified by the idea of moving back in with their parents after graduation. But the number of Millennials doing just that has increased steadily while the economy struggles.

“I never wanted to move back in with my parents when I was in college,” said Kelli LaPorte, who graduated from Hendrix College in 2011, “But sometimes you don’t have a choice.”

In 2001, 31 percent of college graduates aged 18-24 were living with family. By 2011, that number spiked to 45 percent, leaving Millennials brandished with the cruel demographic nickname of the “boomerang generation.”

Since 2008's economic collapse, recent college graduates have seen unemployment rates rise and weekly earnings fall. Coupled with the fact that average student loan debt totaled $27,253 in 2012, it isn’t hard to see why so many young people are choosing—or being forced—to move back in with their families.

“I moved back in with my parents because I couldn’t afford to live on my own, because it was difficult to find a job,” said LaPorte. “Once I did find a job, it didn’t pay enough for me to live on my own and pay my student loans each month, so I continued living with them."

Though large student loans are often a factor in the decision to move home, even students without huge amounts of student debt are reconsidering the financial benefits of moving back home after graduating from college.

“I moved back in with my parents in order to save as much money as possible before starting graduate school,” said Alex Schroller, who also graduated from Hendrix College in 2011 and moved back home after a temporary campaign position ended. “In this case, saving in terms of not having to pay my own rent outweighed having personal independence.”

As the average student debt continues to increase, it forces more and more young people to reconsider the option of moving back home. Millennials across the country have called on Congress to allow for the refinancing of student loans, which could grant young people greater financial freedom.

For more information on the push for student loan refinancing, visit ItsOurInterest.com.

Molly Miller is a reporter for Campus Progress.

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