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Student loan debt on the rise

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By Blake Ellis, workers reporter

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — Student loan debt is on the rise, and fewer graduates are getting jobs to pay again what they borrowed.

College seniors who graduated final yr owed a mean of $24,000 in student loan debt, up 6% from the yr earlier than, in response to a report from the Project on Student Debt. The information, launched on Thursday, is predicated on an annual evaluation of student loan debt at greater than 1,000 private and non-private nonprofit four-year establishments.

At the identical time, unemployment for current school graduates jumped from 5.8% in 2008 to eight.7% in 2009 — the very best annual charge on file.

“With student debt rising and jobs hard to come by, it’s more important than ever to shop around when deciding where to go to college,” stated Lauren Asher, president of the Institute for College Access & Success, the analysis group that operates the Project on Student Debt. “This report shows that debt levels vary widely — not only from state-to-state but also from college-to-college, even when the sticker prices look the same.”

Colleges dished out additional support to assist students keep at school because the economic system went downhill, inflicting student debt to rise about 6% yearly for the previous 4 years, the group stated.

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Debt by state: Student loan debt ranges all through the 50 states ranged from $13,000 to $30,000 final yr. The highest quantities of debt had been discovered primarily within the Northeast, with the bottom ranges within the West.

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Out of the universities Project on Debt surveyed, students graduating within the District of Columbia and New Hampshire had probably the most debt — carrying common a great deal of $30,033 and $29,443 respectively.

Graduates from colleges in Utah owed the least, with a mean of $12,860. Students graduating in Georgia had the subsequent lowest debt ranges, carrying a mean of $16,568.

For-profit faculties weren’t included within the report as a result of most do not present the mandatory information. However, students at these colleges are sometimes extra prone to borrow — and in bigger quantities — than students at different establishments, the group stated.

Debt by school: Only 1,065 of the 1,913 private and non-private nonprofit faculties within the U.S. supplied full student debt information to the Project on Student Debt.

Of these colleges, common student loan debt ranged from as little as $3,000 to as a lot as $61,500; with 72 faculties reporting common debt of greater than $35,000.

Seventy-three faculties stated greater than 90% of the category of 2009 graduated with debt.

Because of the dearth of knowledge, the group did not rank the colleges. Instead it compiled a gaggle of high-debt and low-debt faculties — dividing the high-debt group between private and non-private faculties, since public faculties sometimes have decrease tuition and debt masses than non-public faculties.

Public colleges with graduates who had the very best ranges of debt final yr embody Alabama State University, Iowa State University and University of Maine. High-debt non-public nonprofit colleges embody American University, Florida Institute of Technology and Ohio Northern University.

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Out of the low-debt colleges surveyed, greater than 1 in 3 cost tuition and costs of greater than $10,000. But even a number of the most selective colleges within the nation boast smaller debt masses as a consequence of giant endowments, which permit faculties to increase extra beneficiant quantities of support to students in want.

Schools within the lowest common debt group included California Institute of Technology, Hampton University, CUNY Hunter College and Princeton University.  To top of page

First Published: October 22, 2010: 12:27 PM ET

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