In Utah, only half of Utah college students graduate with student loan debt compared to seven in ten nationally, and the debt they do graduate with is much lower than the national average.
Utah has the lowest average student debt in the country at $18,921, which is significantly less than the national average of $28,950. Only 54% of Utah college students take out student loans, the seventh-lowest in the nation. One of the contributing factors to this large difference is tuition at Utah’s public colleges and universities is the third lowest in the nation. Utah is also ranked “the best state for student debt,” and is one of the most cost-effective states to get a college degree.
Student loan default rates
Student loan default rates in the Utah System of higher Education are below the national average. Nationwide, the total default rate is 11.8%, compared to all USHE institutions at 8.3%. Public two-year colleges nationally have a default rate of 19.1%, compared with USHE two-year college’s 12.2%. The default rate nationally for public four-year universities is 7.6%, compared to USHE four-year institution’s 7.1%.
% 3-year default rates, FY12 cohort, nation vs. USHE by institution type
Note on calculations: Change from two-year to three-year cohort: Effective 2014, student loan default rates are calculated by using a three-year cohort rate. This revised method of calculating reflects an increase in those rates over the previous two-year rates, as it includes an additional year in which a borrower could default. The FY11 cohort includes borrowers who entered repayment in FY11, and the percentage of those who defaulted in FY11, FY12 or FY13.