Average Student Loan Debt for Graduates at New High of $30,100

College graduates with student loans are looking at an average debt of $30,100, a new high, according to 2015 data in a new report from the Institute of College Access and Success.

That amounts to paying about $300 a month over 10 years.
That average student loan debt may be understated since the report excludes students who went to for-profit colleges. For-profit institutions don’t usually report relevant loan data, even though most for-profit students borrow money.
Nationally, about seven in 10 (68 percent) seniors who graduated from public and private nonprofit colleges in 2015 had student loan debt, a similar share as in 2014. These borrowers owed an average of $30,100, up four percent from the 2014 average of $28,950. Average debt at graduation ranged from $3,000 to $53,000.
The report found that student debt varies significantly among colleges due to a number of factors, including:

  • differences in tuition and fees
  • the availability of need-based aid from colleges and states
  • colleges’ financial aid policies and practices
  • living expenses in the local area
  • the demographic makeup of the graduating class
  • the degree to which parents use Parent PLUS loans
  • and, at public colleges, the extent of out-of-state enrollment

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