It is estimated that students who graduated in 2009 carried an average of $24,000 in student loan debt, according to The Project on Student Debt. This was an increase of 6% compared to years prior. The scary part is the majority of these students are graduating in one of the worst economic times in years, and have to pay this debt back. Federal student loan debt cannot be discharged in bankruptcy, so these students are on the hook.
If a student carried the average balance of $24,000 when they graduated, within 6 months they would be faced with a monthly payment of $276.19 (at a normal 10 year fixed payment). They would end up owing over $33,000 when everything was paid in full over the life of the loan.
Where Student Loan Debt is High
It is also interesting to note the high versus low debt states for college. If you go to college in Washington DC, New Hampshire, Maine, Iowa, or Vermont, you are likely to have much higher student loan debt than average.
On the other hand, if you go to college in Utah, Georgia, Nevada, Wyoming, or Delaware, you can usually escape school with much lower debt.
According to the study, the largest high debt public colleges and universities are:
- Iowa State University
- University of Maine
- Alabama State University
Where to Avoid Student Loan Debt
However, there are some very prestigious names on the low-debt university list:
- California Institute of Technology
- Princeton University
- Williams College
It is important to remember that there are many resources available to students to avoid student loan debt. There are scholarships, grants, work programs, or just plain work. Many successful individuals worked their entire way through college. It is also important to remember the costs of student loan debt. This debt will follow you through life until it is paid. Make sure that your education is worth it.
For more on The Project for Student Debt, check out their website here: The Project for Student Debt.