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ERIC Number: ED509357
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Dec
Pages: 12
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
Student Debt and the Class of 2008
Reed, Matthew; Cheng, Diane
Project on Student Debt
This paper is the fourth annual report on the student loan debt of new college graduates. This analysis of the most recent available data found that student debt continued to rise even as it got harder for recent graduates to find jobs, and that debt levels vary considerably from state to state and college to college. Nationwide, average debt for graduating seniors with loans rose from $18,650 in 2004 to $23,200 in 2008, or about six percent per year. State averages for debt at graduation in 2008 ranged from highs near $30,000 to a low of $13,000. High-debt states are concentrated in the Northeast, while low-debt states are mostly in the West. At the college level, average debt varied even more, from $5,000 to $106,000. Colleges with higher tuition tend to have higher average debt, but there are many examples of high tuition and low average debt, and vice versa. Meanwhile, employment prospects for young college graduates have soured along with the economy. The unemployment rate for college graduates aged 20-24 was a challenging 7.6% in the third quarter of 2008, the highest third quarter rate since 2002; by the third quarter of 2009 it had risen to 10.6%, the highest on record. The majority of the class of 2008 fell into this age group in both years. (Contains 13 footnotes.) [Lauren Asher, Pauline Abernathy, and Edie Irons contributed to the writing. Additional funding for this work was provided by the BayTree Fund.]
Project on Student Debt. Available from Institute for College Access & Success, 405 14th Street 11th Floor, Oakland, CA 94612. Tel: 5110-559-9509; Fax: 510-845-4112; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Pew Charitable Trusts; William and Flora Hewlett Foundation; Ford Foundation; Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Authoring Institution: N/A