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Average College Graduate Debt Reports & Graphics

Many students rely on thousands of dollars in student loans to afford postsecondary education, and these loans can be a challenge to pay back. According to the Project on Student Debt, average student debt rose by eight percent between 2011 and 2012, while the annual unemployment rate for recent college graduates remained above pre-recession levels. As the debt of college graduates continues to trend upwards, the high student loan debt burden may limit the ability of some to invest in future assets, such as a home.

This measure provides data on graduates from four-year public and private nonprofit institutions. Students at for-profit colleges are excluded in this measure, as many of these institutions do not report student debt data. National surveys by the U.S. Department of Education indicate that students at for-profit colleges often take on more debt than students at nonprofit institutions.

Average College Graduate Debt, 2012

StateAverage Debt
of Graduates ($)
Rank
United States  $29,400   
Alabama  $26,450  26 
Alaska  $28,782  39 
Arizona  $20,299 
Arkansas  $23,324  15 
California  $20,269 
Colorado  $24,540  20 
Connecticut  $27,816  33 
Delaware  $33,649  49 
District of Columbia  $22,106 
Florida  $22,873  11 
Georgia  $23,089  13 
Hawaii  —  — 
Idaho  $26,751  29 
Illinois  $28,028  35 
Indiana  $27,886  34 
Iowa  $29,456  44 
Kansas  $23,677  17 
Kentucky  $22,384 
Louisiana  $22,789  10 
Maine  $29,352  43 
Maryland  $25,951  24 
Massachusetts  $28,460  38 
Michigan  $28,840  40 
Minnesota  $31,497  46 
Mississippi  $27,322  30 
Missouri  $23,030  12 
Montana  $27,475  32 
Nebraska  $26,473  27 
Nevada  $20,568 
New Hampshire  $32,698  48 
New Jersey  $29,287  42 
New Mexico  $17,994 
New York  $25,537  23 
North Carolina  $23,893  18 
North Dakota  —  — 
Ohio  $29,037  41 
Oklahoma  $23,636  16 
Oregon  $26,639  28 
Pennsylvania  $31,675  47 
Rhode Island  $31,156  45 
South Carolina  $27,416  31 
South Dakota  $25,121  22 
Tennessee  $21,775 
Texas  $24,030  19 
Utah  $21,520 
Vermont  $28,299  37 
Virginia  $25,017  21 
Washington  $23,293  14 
West Virginia  $26,227  25 
Wisconsin  $28,102  36 
Wyoming  $21,241 

Definition

Average student loan debt of graduating students of four-year institutions, 2012.

Source

Student Debt and the Class of 2012. Oakland, CA: Institute for College Access & Success, Project on Student Debt, 2013.

"—" indicates that no data is available.

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