[Vision2020] States With the Most Student Debt

Kenneth Marcy kmmos1 at frontier.com
Tue May 17 07:29:10 PDT 2016

Since the University of Idaho, located in Moscow, Idaho, just held 
another graduation commencement ceremony last Saturday, it is not an 
inappropriate time to examine the collective student financial bill for 
the educational experiences just completed.

*States With the Most Student Debt*


Today’s graduating class will carry more debt than any other class in 
history. The average student loan debt at graduation rose from $18,550 
in 2004 to $28,950 in 2014, a 56% increase, according to The Institute 
for College Access and Success. At the same time, the cost of tuition of 
a public four-year program at an in-state school rose 40% between 2005 
to 2015 — less than the increase in loan debt.

According to the 10th annual “Student Debt and the Class of 2014,” 
published by The Institute for College Access and Success, the increase 
in student loan debts has varied considerably between states. Delaware’s 
average student loan debt increased by 129% in just 10 years, moving 
from seventh lowest in the nation in 2004 to the highest in 2014. 24/7 
Wall St. reviewed all states to determine which had the highest amount 
of average student loan debt in 2014. Delaware had the highest average 
student loan debt at $33,808, while Utah had the lowest at $18,921.

While the national average student loan debt at graduation $28,950, the 
cost over the full term of the loan is much higher. Current federal loan 
interest rates range from 4.29% to 6.84%. At 5.0%, the $28,950 debt has 
a final cost, not including any fees, of $36,847 over a 10-year term — 
increasing the full cost by 27%.

*Click here to see the states with the most student debt. 

States with higher median household incomes tend to also have a higher 
average student loan debt. Of the 10 states with the highest average 
student loan debts, seven have median household incomes above the 
national average. Still, some states with similar student loan debts can 
have significantly different income levels, which can dramatically 
change how big the relative debt burden is.

Massachusetts and Alabama have nearly identical average student loan 
debts, at $29,391 and $29,425, respectively. However, the typical 
household in Massachusetts with a 25-44 year old head of household is 
$77,266 — $30,724 greater than the typical household in Alabama. So 
while the student loan debt is equal to 63% of the median yearly 
household income for in Alabama, it is only equal to 38% in of the 
income Massachusetts.

Using data from the report, “Student Debt and the Class of 2014” 
published by The Institute for College Access and Success, 24/7 Wall St. 
reviewed average student loan debt for new 2014 graduates in every 
state. TICAS also provided data on the average student loan debt in 
2004. We also reviewed data on educational attainment and median 
household incomes from the U.S. Census Bureau. Median household income 
in all instances reflects households in which the head of household is a 
25-44 years old. Interest rates Federal student loan interest rates are 
from Federal Student Aid, an Office of the U.S. Department of Education. 
North Dakota was excluded because there was not sufficient data available.

These are the states with the most and least student debt.


*30. Idaho
 > Avg. student loan debt:* $26,091
*> Median household income 25-44 yr. old:* $51,693 (13th lowest)
*> Student loan debt as pct. household income:* 50.5% (18th highest)
*> College attainment rate:* 25.0% (10th lowest)


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