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For the fifth consecutive year, LendEDU presents our annual Student Loan Debt by School by State Report, an in-depth analysis of the most recent student loan debt figures at hundreds of colleges and universities across the United States.
The topic of student loan debt and the rising cost of college in the U.S. is more important now than it has ever been before.
Not only has outstanding student loan debt ballooned to $1.67 trillion, but the coronavirus pandemic has students and parents weighing the true value of higher education and the financial burden of student loan debt that usually comes with earning a degree.
This year, we found that burden continues to increase as the average borrower from the Class of 2019 left campus with $29,076 in student loan debt, an increase from the $28,565 owed by the average borrower from the Class of 2018.
Like all previous versions of this report, the data derives from the annual Peterson’s financial aid dataset that was licensed by LendEDU. This dataset compiles self-reported student loan debt numbers and other financial aid figures from the hundreds of four-year public and private higher education institutions who complete the voluntary survey from Petersons.
LendEDU took a deep dive into this data to tell you the following statistics for the Class of 2019:
- Average student loan debt per borrower by college, school type, state, & nationwide
- Percentage of graduates with student loan debt by college, school type, state, & nationwide
- Average private and federal student loan debt per borrower by college
- Percentage of graduates with private and federal student loan debt by college
- Each school’s and state’s overall average student loan debt per borrower rank in the U.S. (from lowest to highest debt per borrower)
- Each school’s overall average student loan debt per borrower rank in its state (from lowest to highest debt per borrower)
- Private institutions with the lowest & highest average student loan debt per borrower
- Public institutions with the lowest & highest average student loan debt per borrower
By publishing the Student Loan Debt by School by State Report each year, it is our hope that both current and future college students, in addition to lawmakers and education administrators, can have productive conversations about student loan debt and the cost of college in the U.S.
Table of Contents
- Interactive Map Featuring State-by-State Data
- Overall State-Level Rankings
- School-by-School Complete Data Table
- Overall School-Level Rankings
- Public School Rankings
- Private School Rankings
- Key Findings
- Tips For Handling Student Loan Repayment
The LendEDU team has worked diligently to compile this data and organize it in a user-friendly manner. If you have questions about this report, please email me at [email protected]
Interactive Map Featuring State-by-State Data
The state-by-state data is found by combining all individual student loan debt data for each school in a respective state and weighing that data by the number of student loan borrowers from the Class of 2019 at each school.
This year, we excluded Rhode Island from the report as it did not have any eligible institutions to be analyzed.
Additionally, the map feature used did not include Washington D.C. Here are the figures for the District of Columbia:
- Rank: 32
- Avg. Debt Per Borrower: $30,118
- Change From ’18: -11.50%
- % of ’19 Grads W/ Debt: 48%
Hover over each state to see its average debt per borrower figure, national rank, raw change from last year’s debt per borrower figure, and the proportion of graduates from the Class of 2019 that left campus with student loan debt.
Overall State-Level Rankings
School-by-School Complete Data Table
To see full student loan debt figures from the Class of 2019 for each school within a specific state, use the tab at the top of the table to navigate states.
For reference, the “average private student loan debt per borrower” and “average federal student loan debt per borrower” figures for each school found in the table below only factor in students who have either of these types of student loans. For this reason, the “average private/federal student loan debt per borrower” figures for any school could be higher than that school’s overall “average student loan debt per borrower” figure.
Overall School-Level Rankings
Public School Rankings
Private School Rankings
- For the Class of 2019, the average student loan debt per borrower was $29,076. This is up by $511 from the Class of 2018 in which the average student loan debt per borrower was $28,565.
- When including those with no student loans, the average graduate in the Class of 2019 had $15,919 in student loan debt. This is down by $730 from the Class of 2018 in which the average student loan debt per graduate was $16,649.
- 54.75% of graduates from the Class of 2019 at non-profit 4-year public and private colleges had student loan debt. This is slightly down from 56.99% for the Class of 2018.
- For the Class of 2019, borrowers from private institutions left with $31,556 in student loan debt on average (55.40% of grads were borrowers), whereas borrowers from public institutions left with $28,501 in student loan debt (54.60% of grads were borrowers).
- On a school level for the Class of 2019, the average student loan debt per borrower ranged from a low of $2,825 at Bryn Athyn College of the New Church to a high of $65,401 at New York School of Interior Design.
- On a state level for the Class of 2019, the average student loan debt per borrower ranged from a low of $16,633 in Utah to a high of $41,579 in Connecticut.
- For the Class of 2019, of the 237 colleges with the highest student loan debt per borrower figures, 59.07% of the institutions were private, while 40.93% were public.
- For the Class of 2019, of the 238 colleges with the lowest student loan debt per borrower figures, 66.81% of the institutions were public, while 33.19% were private.
Tips For Handling Student Loan Repayment
As evident by the data found above, student loan debt is a significant financial burden for most young Americans. Repaying that student loan debt efficiently is a major key to financial freedom.
LendEDU offers just a few tips below on how borrowers can manage their student loan debt to make repayment as pain-free as possible.
Understand Your Repayment Options
When it comes to repaying student loan debt, there are a few different student loan repayment plans that could help make the process go a little smoother. For federal student loans, there are income-driven repayment plans and public service loan forgiveness options that you could look into.
There are not as many repayment plans for private student loans, but if you are struggling to repay this type of student loan debt you should contact your private student loan lender to see if forbearance is possible.
Think Outside the Box
If you really want to pay off your student loans as fast as possible, you need to get creative with how you repay your student loan debt. For example, you could make biweekly payments instead of one per month, pay off your high-interest student loans first, or utilize tax deductions.
There are also other methods you can employ, like taking any extra cash or loose change you wind up with and using it to make spontaneous student loan payments.
After you have established yourself as a trustworthy student loan borrower that makes on-time and sufficient monthly payments, it’s never a bad idea to consider refinancing your student loans.
The biggest possible benefit that comes from refinancing your student loans is hopefully receiving a lower student loan interest rate. It’s also possible to refinance Parent PLUS loans, in addition to refinancing your student loans more than once to hopefully get an even better interest rate.
LendEDU’s Student Loan Debt by School by State Report derives from the newest Peterson’s financial aid data. Peterson’s released the new data for the Class of 2019 in early August 2020. The data was reported through a voluntary survey to the colleges and universities listed in the report. For reference, the data is released on a one-year delay. The Class of 2020 data will not be available until the late summer or fall of 2021.
The data was calculated by analyzing Peterson’s financial aid data for 475 colleges and universities in the United States. We only included data on the colleges and universities that reported their financial aid data for the Class of 2019 in 2020. For example, we did not include schools that reported their financial aid data for the Class of 2019 in 2019. This gives each institution a full year to analyze and finalize their respective financial aid data. In addition, we only aggregated and analyzed the data for 4-year public and private nonprofit colleges and universities.
At the state level, we assigned weights to the individual colleges within a particular state. We calculated the average student loan debt per borrower at the state level by weighting the reported average student loan debt at each college by the number of student loan borrowers in the Class of 2019 at each particular institution. We calculated the proportion of student loan borrowers by weighting the reported proportion of student loan borrowers at each college by the number of bachelor’s degree recipients at each particular institution. At the national level, we utilized the same weighting system used to calculate state averages.
The average debt per graduate was calculated by multiplying the national average student loan per borrower figure by the national proportion of 2019 graduates that had student loan debt.
On a school-by-school level, much of the data found within this report was reported as it was received from Peterson’s. The vast majority of calculations done by LendEDU, like those mentioned above, were only done to find state and national statistics. If a school had “N/A” in a “Percent Change” or “Change” cell in a table above it is because that school’s data from the year prior was incomplete. To do the year-over-year comparisons, LendEDU only used data from last year’s Peterson’s dataset if the school reported its financial aid data for the Class of 2018 in 2019.
The data was provided on a voluntary basis by college officials. LendEDU did not audit the accuracy of the college-level data. Therefore, any data found in this report may not be completely accurate. Since each college completes the Peterson’s survey on a voluntary basis, it is entirely possible that a school made a reporting error when providing the data to Peterson’s.
The universities and colleges included in this study are limited to the following university function types: 4-Year Colleges, Comprehensive Higher Education Institutions, and Universities.
The universities and colleges included in this study are limited to the following main institution control types: Public-State, Public-State and Local, Public-State-Related, Private Nonprofit, and Private Religious.
The school-level average student debt per borrower is the cumulative principal borrowed through any loan program for the last graduating undergraduate class (all students who started at the institution as first-time students and received a bachelor’s degree)–Federal Perkins, Federal Stafford Subsidized and Unsubsidized, institutional, state, private student loans that the institution is aware of, etc. Includes both Federal Direct Student Loans and Federal Family Education Loans. Includes only loans (including co-signed loans) made to students who borrowed while enrolled at the institution. We excluded students who transferred into a school and any money borrowed at other institutions, students who did not graduate or who graduated with another degree or certificate but no bachelor’s degree, as well as parent loans.
The school-level average private student debt per borrower is the cumulative principal borrowed through private alternative loans made by a bank or lender. Includes only loans (including co-signed loans) made to students who borrowed while enrolled at the institution. Excludes students who transferred in and money borrowed at other institutions, students who did not graduate or who graduated with another degree or certificate but no bachelor’s degree, as well as parent loans.
Click here to see our Student Loan Debt by School by State 2019 report.
See more of LendEDU’s Research here.
Author: Mike Brown