mapStudent loan averages around the country are higher than ever before, with the national total surpassing $1 trillion earlier this year. But is student loan debt the same everywhere? While last year the average student graduated with just over $29,000 of student loan debt, the newest research says that number has jumped to over $30,000 for six states.

Rates Rising

Student loan debt has historically been higher in the Midwest and Northeast, where college tuition prices are higher than the rest of the country. In several of those states, the average is even higher than $30,000. New Hampshire, Delaware, and Pennsylvania all have average student loan debts of over $32,000 a year. South Carolina is the only one of the ten states with highest student loan debt outside of the Northeast and Midwest. The states with the lowest student loan averages are in the West. New Mexico has the lowest with $18,000 per student – still not a cheap cost.

The reason for the higher student loan debt in northern states is fairly simple: those states have more private schools. Private schools in general have higher tuitions than public ones, and many of the private schools in the northern states are old institutions with long histories and small student bodies. Another reason for the disparity is that there are more colleges in the more densely populated states. This is partly due to higher demand and partly due to the fact that the east coast has been populated for longer than the west.

No matter where you go in the country, however, you will likely be facing high student debts. And unless the system changes or receives a major overhaul, those student debts will only continue to rise.

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