Student debt and the Class of 2014

The Institute for College Success & Access(TICAS) just issued its 10th annual report on college debt at graduation. The most recent report showed that in 2014 7 out of 10 college graduates (69%) from public and private colleges had some sort of debt. These borrowers owed an average of $28,950, up two percent from the 2013 average of $28,400. About one-sixth (17%) of the Class of 2014’s debt was comprised of private loans, which provide fewer consumer protections and repayment options and are typically more costly than federal loans.

State averages for debt at graduation ranged widely in 2014, from $18,900 to $33,800, and new graduates’ likelihood of having debt ranged from 46 percent to 76 percent. In six states, average debt was more than $30,000. High-debt states remain concentrated in the Northeast and Midwest, and low-debt states are mainly in the West. The report actually contains a state by state comparison.

They also provided a ten year trends analysis(2004-2014) which is quite interesting. Average debt at graduation rose more than 56% from $18,550 to $28,950 which was more than double the rate of inflation.

In short, it is important that the ability the pay and the expectation on what debt will be owed at graduation are discussed with students and parents so there are no surprises down the road.

Here is a link to the complete report – Student Debt and the Class of 2014