The Undergraduate Student Loan Calculator offered by the Hamilton Project allows you to illustrate what percentage of your future earnings are likely to go toward paying off your student loan. Among other variables, you can select your major course of study.
Here’s an illustration comparing a petroleum engineering major with an ethnic studies major, showing a dramatic difference in outcomes, particularly in the first year after graduation.
The ethnic studies major starts out paying almost 26% of his earnings toward his student loans.
Petroleum Engineer Monthly Income: $3,816 Monthly Loan Payment: $277
Ethnic Studies Monthly Income: $1,073 Monthly Loan Payment: $277
Income is based on the median earnings for that major. The loan assumptions are based on average student debt of $26,500 as of 2012 and current federal student loan interest rate of 4.66%.
Run your own illustrations at the Hamilton Project site.