Anyone who happens to follow student loan news can quote the statistics at a moment’s notice.  Commonly known statistics such as “70% of college students have student loan debt” or “the average graduate leaves college with over $30,000 in debt” are essentially staples when talking about anything related to student loans.  These statistics resulted from the analysis of a large data sample from 2014, and now, more information and updated statistics on student loans have been released with some interesting results.

An enormous study and data analysis undertaken by LendEDU offers important insight on the current student loan situation.  The data, released by Peterson’s, includes borrower debt number from over 1,300 schools across the nation during the year 2015.  This data was broken out to provide student loan debt statistics in terms of state and schools.  Comparisons between private and public universities were also made.  On top of that, overall statistics of the big picture were provided.

One interesting key observation pertains to overall average debt per borrower and graduates.  From the Class of 2015, the average borrower had about $28,400 in student loan debt. Contrary to popular opinion, the average graduate from a 4-year university had only $16,033 in student loan debt.  It is largely believed that graduates have over $30,000 in debt, but this study reveals a different story.

The comparison between private and public institutions did not reveal any unforeseen surprises, but it is still noteworthy.  On average, borrowers at private universities had about $31,710 while borrowers from public universities had $26,872 in debt on average.  Other statistics supported these reveals.  Out of the top 250 colleges with the highest amount of student debt per borrower, a staggering 82% of these colleges were private.  When viewing the 250 colleges with the lowest debt per borrower, it can be noted that 51% of these colleges were public.

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The three states with the highest average student loan debt per borrower were Connecticut ($36,865), Rhode Island ($35,169), and New Hampshire ($34,810).  The three states with the lowest average debt per borrower were Utah ($18,772), New Mexico ($20,776), and Wyoming ($22,683).

The three colleges with the highest student loan debt per borrower were Berklee College of Music ($86,262), Molloy College ($62,744), and Everglades University-Sarasota ($59,699).  On the contrary, the three colleges with the lowest student loan debt per borrower were Dalton State College ($3000), College of the Ozarks ($5339), and Davis College ($5360).

This data sheds some insight on the overall direction of the student loan situation.  This data pertained to average debt per borrower by school and state.  It did not address the rates of delinquency and default which are important when discussing student loans.  Overall, this is an informative list that outlines just where high student loan debt is concentrated throughout the country.


*LendEDU is owned by Shop Tutors, Inc., the parent company of Student Loan Report, LLC.