CFED Scorecard

CFED Assets & Opportunity Scorecard

College Graduates with 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. Several factors influence the prevalence of educational debt among college graduates. Although high tuition costs are often correlated with increased debt, this is not always the sole reason students take on debt. Other reasons include inadequate grant and scholarship programs, the cost of living, and the student’s level of financial need.

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. However, 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.

College Graduates with Debt, 2012

StatePercent of Graduates
with Debt (%)
Rank
United States  71%   
Alabama  53% 
Alaska  49% 
Arizona  54%  11 
Arkansas  55%  13 
California  52% 
Colorado  52% 
Connecticut  61%  28 
Delaware  56%  15 
District of Columbia  56%  15 
Florida  51% 
Georgia  59%  22 
Hawaii  —  — 
Idaho  65%  38 
Illinois  64%  35 
Indiana  64%  35 
Iowa  71%  47 
Kansas  59%  22 
Kentucky  62%  30 
Louisiana  48% 
Maine  67%  41 
Maryland  58%  20 
Massachusetts  66%  40 
Michigan  62%  30 
Minnesota  70%  45 
Mississippi  57%  19 
Missouri  63%  32 
Montana  64%  35 
Nebraska  63%  32 
Nevada  41% 
New Hampshire  74%  48 
New Jersey  65%  38 
New Mexico  61%  28 
New York  60%  25 
North Carolina  59%  22 
North Dakota  —  — 
Ohio  69%  43 
Oklahoma  53% 
Oregon  60%  25 
Pennsylvania  70%  45 
Rhode Island  69%  43 
South Carolina  55%  13 
South Dakota  78%  49 
Tennessee  58%  20 
Texas  56%  15 
Utah  50% 
Vermont  63%  32 
Virginia  60%  25 
Washington  56%  15 
West Virginia  54%  11 
Wisconsin  68%  42 
Wyoming  47% 

Definition

Percentage of graduating students from four-year institutions with student loan debt, 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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