Millennials having a low net worth should not be terribly surprising, mainly due to the fact that they haven’t had a lot of time to start accumulating wealth. Looking at the numbers overall gives us a depressingly low figure: -$17,612 for average millennial net worth.
Why this number is so low is almost completely because of student loans. Older generations have either paid off their student loans, are foregone them in their entirety, and they’ve had more working years to build their wealth. 18-30 year-olds get to experience what life is like with a large monthly payment (which can be adjusted based on income, resulting in more interest being paid) and only a degree to show for it (if they graduate).
Going a step further, universities and community college have been raising their rates over the past decade since they know that it is so easy for students to get public loans for higher education. Some of the new money may be going into capital improvements or increased scholarships, but it seems as though a lot of it is going towards higher salaries for administrators.