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New report: Utah student debt still lowest in the nation

A new report from the Project on Student Debt shows Utah continues to be the top-ranked state for low student debt. Utah is the only state with the average student debt less than $20,000. Utah is also the top ranked state for the lowest percentage of graduates with student debt at 43 percent, one of just five state under 50 percent.

State averages for debt at graduation ranged from a low of $19,975 (Utah) to a high of $36,350 (New Hampshire), and new graduates’ likelihood of having debt varied from 43 percent (Utah) to 77 percent (West Virginia). In 17 states, average debt was more than $30,000. Many of the same states appear at the high and low ends of the spectrum as in previous years. Utah has been the lowest debt state for several years running. High-debt states remain concentrated in the Northeast and Midwest, and low-debt states are mainly in the West.

The report provides institution-specific data only for 4-year institutions. Here is a breakdown:

Average Debt at Graduation

Proportion of 2016 Graduates with Any Debt

This is the second report in as many months highlighting Utah’s low debt rankings. LendEdu also released its student loan debt statistics for the class of 2016. The average amount of student debt in Utah has decreased each year for the last four years: in 2013, Utah students took out an average of $22,418 in student loans; in 2014, $18,921; and in 2015, $18,873.