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May 2015
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Average Student Loan Debt

Rising tuition and a difficult job market have caused graduates to acquire averages of $27,000 in student loan debt. Over two-thirds of the college graduates in 2011 had federal student loan pledges of billions of dollars. 2011 is up 5 percent from 2010 figures and the college student debt trend is rising.
Unemployment has remained high for college graduates at an all-time high of 8.8 percent for 2011 and trending to be over 9 percent in 2012. A college degree is worth it, though since those without a college degree cannot find jobs in any sector. Recent high school graduates with no college degree unemployment were up to 19.1 percent in 2011.
Those graduating in 2012 and those who have graduated in the last two years entered college just before the recession and this placed many families with no means to afford tuitions. Public college have hiked tuitions so high in response to budget costs that saving for a college education is a thing of the past and student debt is the norm.
Colleges with the highest student debt
The college or university you choose will determine the amount of college debt you graduate with. On the average the student debt is $27,000 but it does range for a low of $3,000 to almost $56,000. Sixty-four colleges claim that 90 percent of their graduating seniors have college debt.
When determining a college, it is prudent to look at like schools, determine the tuition, fees, room and board, and then decide what school would be fiscally smart to attend. Although everyone wants an Ivy League degree, this is just not possible with today’s economy and testing rates. Look at Indiana University of Pennsylvania who charges their enrollees an annual tuition of about $8,000. The same programs and degrees are offered at well-known Clarion University of Pennsylvania and tuition is only $4,000 per year. Why the double figures? Good question.
Look at the colleges and universities in individual states and make the determination of what school to attend. The college student debt averages do vary. Seniors from New Hampshire colleges and universities graduated with a debt of $3,500, those graduating from Pennsylvania schools averaged $30,000 and Utah plus Hawaii had the lowest levels of student debt at $17,000.
It has also been tallied that students in the Midwest and Northeast areas of the country have the most student debt. Western and Southern states graduated their students with the least amount of college debt. These figures are somewhat skewed down, however since many for-profit schools do not report debt totals.
Private student loans debts are highly risky and expensive. They have higher interest rates; shorter repayments terms, and are very unforgiving in repayment plans. One-fifth of the amount of student debt is held in private student loans. As graduates obtain more and more student debt, the debt ratios will definitely jump higher. Still, the best paying jobs can only be had with a college or university degree.