OAKLAND, Calif. (12/10/13)--The average student loan debt for those graduating in 2012 rose 25% when compared with debt for students graduating in 2008, says a new study. That is consistent with the Credit Union National Association's study earlier this year that pointed out half of high school students have no idea what college will cost.
The average debt of the 2012 graduate totaled $29,400 in student loans, according to Student Debt and the Class of 2012, a report released last week by Oakland, Calif.-based The Institute for College Access and Success (Ticas). The institute said loan balances for the Class of 2008 averaged $23,450 (MainSt.com Dec. 9).
In CUNA's earlier study, 83% of students said they did not know the rates and 77% didn't know the duration of terms on their expected or existing college loans (News Now April 29).
Of those aspiring to go to college, 74% said they will need both federal and private loans as well as family money and jobs to support their tuition. Twenty-five percent expected to take out two or more student loans; 13% expected one loan; and 60% had no idea how many they would need. Of those surveyed, 22% said they will owe between $11,000 and $50,000 when they graduate while 15% expected up to $10,000 in debt and 13% said their debt would total more than $50,000 at graduation.
CUNA met with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in April and emphasized that credit unions could do more to help debt-straddled grads if the maximum credit union student loan maturity were increased (News Now April 23).
Ticas' study also noted that the high student debt reflected in its findings could be the tip of the iceberg because its study was limited to college institutions that voluntarily report the information and did not include for-profit colleges. Roughly 20% of high-debt public colleges and 30% of low-debt colleges who reported data last year failed to do so this year.
States with the highest level of debt per student were Delaware, with $33,649, and New Hampshire, with $32,698. New Mexico had the lowest debt, at $17,994, and California balances averaged $20,269, the second-lowest debt in the nation.