Wednesday Buzz: Young Professionals’ Student Loan Burden

The heavy load of student debt that young professionals are carrying could pose a challenge in recruiting millennial and Gen Z members. Also: Instagram introduces a new engagement feature.

As your association works to recruit young members newly out of school, pay attention to a barrier to membership that’s a particular challenge for this generation: student debt.

A special report by Washington, DC, radio station WTOP takes a look at the worrisome financial situation of young professionals in the capital city. The report notes that DC has the highest median student loan balance in the country, at $22,803, according to LendingTree.

“We’re all paying student loans, and we’re all kind of in this … I wouldn’t even say middle class, like lower-middle class. I don’t really know how to classify myself, but money is on our minds all the time,” Kristen Shannon, a nonprofit program manager in DC, told WTOP.

The debt level for students didn’t rise by much this year, but it’s not because college costs have leveled off. Students are actually bumping up against federal loan limits, so parents are taking on more debt to fund their kids’ education, CBS News reports.

The American Association of University Women has found that women are particularly hit hard by student loans, collectively carrying nearly twice as much of the nation’s student debt as men do.

IG Conversation

On the heels of its IGTV launch, Instagram is making Stories more robust by adding a new polling feature.

“Instagram says it’s ‘a way to start conversations during moments when you don’t necessarily have a photo or video to share,’” writes Casey Newton in a new post for The Verge. “In other words, it’s a way to ensure that people continue posting even if they have totally run out of content ideas.”

Other Links of Note

Attract more people to your cultural organization. Know Your Own Bone shares the three keys of engagement.

Associations put a lot of effort into annual meetings. Ed Rigsbee reveals how to get more membership ROI out of these events.

Do you use Slack? Keep up with the must-know hacks for the collaboration tool, from Lifehacker.

(zimmytws/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Raegan Johnson

By Raegan Johnson

Raegan Johnson is a contributor to Associations Now. MORE

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