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Student Loan Debt By State

Student Loan Debt By State
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Navigating the Varied Landscape of Student Loan Debt

Student loan debt in the United States is an issue of significant concern and debate. With total student loan debt reaching an unprecedented $1.74 trillion as of Sept 2023, understanding its distribution and impact is crucial to forming effective policies and interventions. 

The data paints a vivid picture of the state-wise figures with Maryland sitting on the higher end with an average borrower owing $42,861 while North Dakota, on the other spectrum, reports an average student debt per borrower at $28,604. This wide range underscores regional disparities in higher education funding, different state policies, cost of living, and income levels, which all weigh heavily on the ability to manage and offset student loan debt.

Key findings from the data include:

  • Higher average student debt per borrower is predominantly seen, surprisingly, not just in traditionally high-cost states like New York or California but across a diverse range of states such as Maryland ($42,861), Georgia ($41,639), and Virginia ($39,165).
  • Mid-Western and Northern Plains states such as North Dakota ($28,604), Iowa ($30,464), and South Dakota ($30,954) report the lowest average student debt per borrower.
  • A cluster of states including Florida, South Carolina, Illinois, and North Carolina have average debt figures hovering around the high 30-thousand dollar mark. In these states, issues such as the rising cost of out-of-state tuition and reduced state funding may be contributing factors.
  • It bears noting that states with major cities and higher costs of living—California, New York, and Illinois—do not hold the top spots for average student debt, demonstrating the complexity of the student debt crisis and the many non-tuition-related factors influencing borrowing.

By State

Full Data Set

Frequently Asked Questions

Methodology