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Pennsylvania Ranks 2nd-Highest in Average Student Debt

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As the new year of college is coming, for the 2nd year straight, Pennsylvania college students have the 2nd-highest amount of undergraduate student debt, on average.

This time around, data from the 12th annual student debt report is used from The Institute for College Access and Success (TICAS) to put together a ranking of each state in the country.

As TICAS’s data says, college students in Pennsylvania rack up average student loan debts of $35,759. It means that 68% of Pennsylvania students graduate with debt.

According to TICAS’s data:

  1. Delaware is 4th-highest in average student loan debt with $33,838,
  2. New Jersey ranks 18th with $29,878.

Last year, Pennsylvania ranked No. 2 in average student debt when WalletHub put together an analysis of 11 different post-grad debt factors. And in this year, nothing has changed as the state remains in the 2nd place.

You are wondering what state is the champion in the average student debt loan? That would be Utah. It is the only state with a figure below $20,000. Just 43% of its grads have student debt, the lowest mark in the country and just one of 4 states (Arizona, Wyoming, Alaska) to have less than half its grads take on student debt.

It shouldn’t be too surprising that five of the top six states in average debt are Northeastern states. The Ivy League schools dot the area’s crowded collegiate scene, and plenty of prestigious private institutions that aren’t Ivies still charge sky-high tuition when compared with the in-state tuition of a state like Utah. Did you know that Weber State and Utah Valley Universities both have in-state tuitions under $5,000? Even Utah State is under $6,000.

As PhillyVoice’s Emily Rolen pointed out just a few days ago:

If you are to pay for full-time tuition at Penn State, Pittsburgh or Temple, you have to spent 47% of your family’s income, on average, according to a 2016 report on affordability. Twenty percent of families who are making $30,000 a year or less would be spending 105% of its annual income earnings.

Until the state’s universities decide to do something about rising tuition costs, Pennsylvania can expect to land near the top of these kinds of lists for the near future.

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