Student Debt Levels High in CT, Young Unemployment Rate Drops Slightly

As college students across the nation graduate with record-high levels of loans, a recent report found that Connecticut ranks among the five states  with the highest loads of student debt. Roughly 66 percent of college students from the class of 2011 nationwide graduated with student loan debt, and the average loan debt per person amounted to $26,600, according to a report by The Project on Student Debt, an initiative of The Institute for College Access and Success.

The survey  asked universities to self-report debt figures from their graduating classes. In Connecticut, the 2011 average was $28,783, making it the fifth-highest debt state behind four other Northeastern states.  New Hampshire topped the list, with average student debt of $32,450.

The report also found that unemployment rate for young college graduates was 8.8 percent in 2011, a slight drop from 2010’s record high of 9.1 percent. Many more young graduates were underemployed, working just part-time or in lower paying jobs that did not require a college education. Still, college graduates are much better off than those without a college degree. The unemployment rate for young high school graduates was 19.1 percent in 2011, more than double the rate for those with bachelor’s degrees.

Connecticut-specific data, by institution, offers stats including the percentage of students graduating with debt in 2011, which includes universities where the percentage exceeded three-quarters of students.