If you’re like many people in the professional and business world, you’re paying on student loans. Or perhaps you’re about to send a child to college. Will it be UNA or somewhere more exotic? The following report may help to finalize your decision…or it may make you feel better about your choice of schools all those years ago. Alabama ranks very high on the list.

 

The Class of 2016 is not the most-indebted class in history, according to the second annual Student Loan Debt by School by State Report released by LendEDU. The average borrower in the Class of 2016 graduated with $27,975, down by 1.50% from $28,400 held by the average borrower in the Class of 2015. In LendEDU’s analysis, researchers found that private institutions gave borrowers an average of $30,281 in student debt at graduation, whereas public institutions gave borrowers an average of $26,828 in student debt at graduation.

LendEDU’s Student Loan Debt by School by State Report was created using the newest Peterson’s financial aid data. Peterson’s released the new data for the Class of 2016 at the start of August 2017. LendEDU is the first organization to aggregate and analyze this data for the Class of 2016. The data was reported through a survey to the colleges and universities listed in the report. The voluntary survey received usable responses from 1,161 institutions. For reference, the data is released on a one year delay. The Class of 2017 data will not be available until the Fall of 2018.

LendEDU created this report to add transparency to the $1.4 trillion student loan crisis. LendEDU’s team worked to aggregate and analyze the self-reported data provided by the colleges and universities mentioned in the report. LendEDU’s goal is to highlight which states and colleges are giving graduates the most and least student loan debt at graduation. LendEDU worked to rank the institutions themselves on an overall basis and on a state level. In the report, LendEDU provided the following information for the 1,161 institutions:

  • Average student debt per borrower
  • Percentage of graduates w/ student debt
  • Average private student debt per borrower
  • Percentage of graduates w/ private student debt
  • Overall rank in the United States (from highest debt per borrower to lowest debt per borrower)
  • State rank (from highest debt per borrower to lowest debt per borrower)
  • % change in average student debt per borrower vs. last year’s data

“This is the second edition of our Student Loan Debt by School by State Report. To be honest, last year we were quite surprised when our report gathered recognition from a number of elected officials, institutions, national and regional media, and families across the United States.” said LendEDU CEO/Co-Founder Nate Matherson. “We knew that we needed to do this report again for the Class of 2016. And, I can honestly say that I am surprised to see that the average student loan debt per borrower decreased this year. Moreover, I was surprised to see meaningful volatility between state rankings and average student debt balances at schools.” said Matherson.

States with High Student Debt
Pennsylvania – $35,185
New Hampshire – $35,143
Delaware – $33,650
Connecticut – $32,326
South Dakota – $31,518
Minnesota – $31,342
Alabama – $31,257
Montana – $30,994
Massachusetts – $30,584
Rhode Island – $30,549

States with Low Student Debt
51. Utah – $18,810
50. New Mexico – $21,314
49. California – $22,488
48. Arizona – $23,384
47. Florida – $24,041
46. Nevada – $24,133
45, Washingon – $24,164
44. North Carolina – $25,273
43. Wyoming – $25,378
42. North Dakota – $25,815

On a school level, the averages at graduation in 2016 ranged from a low of $3,809 per borrower to a high of $59,113 per borrower. To see the full-list of school level rankings, please see our full report.

We analyzed all 50 states and 1,161 colleges in our full report. LendEDU licensed the data from Peterson’s for this report. For full methodology, please see the full report for a breakdown of calculations and an explanation of relevant terms.

 

 

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