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Student Loan Debt Continues to Increase

October 23, 2008

by Emily

The Project on Student Debt just published information on the average student loan debt load for students graduating college in 2007.  The report shows that average student debt increased 6 percent from 2006 to 2007, while the average annual salary of college graduates increased by only 3 percent.  The percentage of students borrowing remained the same at 59 percent nationally, though some individual states experienced double-digit increases, including North Dakota, which surged ahead 14 percent to capture the #2 spot for percentage of student borrowers, with 75 percent of its students taking out loans, following South Dakota's 81 percent.

While more North and South Dakotans borrow than residents of any other state, Iowans have the highest average debt load of $26,208, followed closely by New Hampshire's $25,211.  States that fared well were Utah and Hawaii with the lowest average debt ($13,266 and $14,911 respectively) and Nevada and Utah with the lowest percentage of borrowers (40 and 42 percent).  The report also contains information for individual private colleges and state universities for 2007, as well as a list of the schools with the highest and lowest levels of student debt.

So if you're still in the midst of your college search, you may want to check out the full report from the Project on Student Debt, complete with a state-by-state interactive map.  If you're planning on attending college in a high-debt state, don't panic.  Just devote a bit more time to finding money for college, such as doing a thorough scholarship search.


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