Minnesota 4th in student loan debt

by Jill Jensen

Minnesota amassed the fourth-highest average of student loan debt in the nation in 2010, according a report released Thursday.

It was also fifth in its percentage of 2010 students who graduated with debt, at 71 percent.

The average graduating senior in 2010 had $25,250 in student debt in the United States, a 5 percent increase from 2009, according to an annual report by the Project on Student Debt.

States in the Northeast and Midwest had the highest average debt, according to a press release. New Hampshire, Maine and Iowa all ranked above Minnesota in the list of states with the highest debt.

In Minnesota, the average loan debt was $29,058 for graduating seniors, according to the report.

At the University of Minnesota, the average loan debt for 2009-10 graduates was $29,949 for students with parent loans and $26,523 for those without, according to University data.

But federal programs have pushed for student loan reform recently.

“How you borrow, not just how much you borrow, really matters,” said Lauren Asher, president of the Institute for College Access & Success, a nonprofit organization which produces the project, in a press release.

Data on 2009-10 graduating seniors was collected from 1,067 public four-year and private nonprofit four-year colleges, according to the report.