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ERIC Number: ED526956
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Nov
Pages: 16
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
Student Debt and the Class of 2010
Reed, Matthew
Project on Student Debt
This paper is the sixth annual report on the cumulative student loan debt of recent graduates from four-year public and private nonprofit colleges. This analysis found that the debt levels of students who graduate with loans continued to rise, with considerable variation among states as well as among colleges. This paper estimates that two-thirds of college seniors who graduated in 2010 had student loan debt, with an average of $25,250 for those with debt, up five percent from the previous year. The five percent increase in average debt at the national level is similar to the average annual increase over the past few years. State averages for debt at graduation from four-year colleges ranged widely in 2010, from $15,500 to $31,050. High-debt states are concentrated in the Northeast and Midwest, while low-debt states are mainly in the West. Average debt continues to vary even more at the campus level than at the state level, from $950 to $55,250. Colleges with higher costs tend to have higher average debt, but there are many examples of high-cost colleges with low average debt, and vice versa. Many factors influence student debt levels for each graduating class and the rate of increase over time, such as changes in college costs, family resources, and need-based grant aid. Given the growing enrollment in and attention to for-profit colleges in recent years, it is important to note that this report reflects only graduates of public and private nonprofit four-year colleges because so few for-profit colleges report the necessary student debt data. However, based on national surveys conducted by the U.S. Department of Education, it is known that on average, graduates of for-profit four-year colleges are much more likely to borrow student loans and borrow significantly more than their counterparts at public and private nonprofit colleges. (Contains 40 footnotes.) [Contributions to this paper was provided by Lauren Asher, Pauline Abernathy, Diane Cheng, Debbie Frankle Cochrane, and Laura Szabo-Kubitz. For "Student Debt and the Class of 2009," see ED515403.]
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: N/A
Authoring Institution: Institute for College Access & Success, Project on Student Debt