Average Student Loan Debt Tops $25,000

NEW YORK ( MainStreet) -- Students are graduating from college with an ever-increasing amount of student loan debt, a study from a nonprofit education group shows.

Two-thirds of all students who graduated college last year owed money for loans, and those that did held an average loan debt of $25,250, according to data from the nonprofit Institute for College Access and Success. That represents a 5% increase over the average student loan debt in 2009.
The average student loan debt shot up by 5% in 2010 and is now approaching the $30,000 mark in several states.

As bad as that may sound, the actual average debt per student might be even higher, as the report factors in only data from four-year public and private nonprofit colleges and not from for-profit institutions, which often have higher tuition costs.

The average student loan debt also varies significantly by state. Several states in the Northeast including Maine and Vermont have an average student loan debt of nearly $30,000, and New Hampshire is the one state in the country to break the $30,000 mark, with an average debt of $31,048 per graduate.

The increasing amount of student loan debt is further compounded by the rising unemployment rate among college graduates. As the Institute points out in its report, the unemployment rates for college graduates 24 and under was 9.1% last year, up from 8.7% the year before. The net result is many students have more debt to pay down and less income with which to do it.

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