Student Debt Continues to Climb; CT is 5th Highest in USA

Two-thirds of college seniors who graduated in 2011 had student loan debt, with an average of $26,600 per borrower, up from $25,250 in 2010, according to a recent report from the Project on Student Debt at The Institute for College Access & Success (TICAS).  The loan burden of Connecticut college students, on average, exceeded the national average. The top-five leading high-debt states were New Hampshire ($32,440), Pennsylvania ($29,959), Minnesota ($29, 793), Rhode Island ($29,097)and Connecticut ($28,783).  In addition, 64 percent of Connecticut college students have debt, which places the state 15th in the nation.

The five-percent increase from 2010 to 2011 is similar to the average annual increase in recent years. The report also found that about two-thirds of the Class of 2011 had loans, and that private (non-federal) student loans comprised about one-fifth of what they owed.

The report’s findings focus solely on public and private nonprofit four-year colleges, because so few for-profit colleges chose to report the necessary data. However, federal survey data show that nationwide, graduates of for-profit four-year colleges are much more likely to borrow federal and private student loans, and they borrow significantly more than their counterparts at other types of colleges.

Utah and Hawaii had the lowest and second lowest average debt at $17,250 and $17,450.

In looking at the institutions specifically, the only Connecticut higher education institution to reach the top 20 High-Student Debt Public Colleges was the University of New Haven.   Among the top 20 “low-debt” institutions was Yale University.