(Undated) – Indiana and Ohio each rank high for the amount of student debt carried by the college class of 2011.
According to a new report by the advocacy group Project on Student Debt at The Institute for College Access & Success, 63 percent of the state's 2011 graduating class has student loan debt, with the average student owing $27,500.
Nationally, 2011 college graduates who took out student loans held $26,600 in student loan debt on average. The figure is up from $25,250 in 2010, according to the seventh annual report.
The report listed Indiana University-Northwest as the Indiana institution with the highest loan payback at nearly $32,000.
Other popular state four-year schools were not far behind. The average debt of 2011 graduates at Indiana University-Bloomington was $28,434, Purdue University’s West Lafayette campus at $27,286, and Ball State University at $25,667.
The lowest public, four-year college 2011 graduating debt was found at the University of Southern Indiana at $18,406 and Indiana State University at $18,445.
Student debt at Indiana’s private four-year non-profit colleges was often higher than their public counterparts. Ruse-Hulman Institute of Technology graduates owed more on average than any others at $42,689. At Butler University in Indianapolis, the average 2011 graduate with debt owed $36,925. Franklin College grads owed $35,942. Hanover College graduates’ debt was $27,410 on average.
Ohio ranked seventh with an average student debt of $28,683, according to the same report. Kentucky was 37th with $22,287. Sixty eight percent of Ohio graduates and 60 percent in Kentucky had student loan debt.
Paying off student debt could prove to be a lifetime commitment for many college grads. In May, Rutgers University's Heldrich Center for Workforce Development released a study on recent college graduates. They found that only 51% of recent college graduates are employed full-time. Of those who found work, just 4 in 10 reported that their job required a four-year degree. Over half of the survey respondents reported that their starting salary was less than they expected it to be.
The full Project on Student Debt report can be viewed online at http://projectonstudentdebt.org/pub_view.php?idx=864.