Minnesota's college graduates have 4th-largest student loan debt


That's what 71 percent of the Minnesotan class of 2010 needs to know.

A new report released this morning shows that graduates from Minnesota colleges are shouldering some of the nation's highest student loan debt.

The figures show the Minnesota class of 2010 is the fourth most in debt in the country, emerging from the college years with an average of $29,058 worth of loans to repay.

The report also fingered a couple of local institutions with a particularly bad records of sending students out the door with some of the nation's heftiest debt burdens.


The data comes from self-reported figures collected from the colleges by U.S. News & World Report, Peterson's and the College Board. The report, compiled by the Project on Student Debt, does not include figures from for-profit schools, since they're under no obligation to report their numbers.

The numbers show that Minnesota students' debt is about $4,000 higher than the national average of $25,250. Not only that, but 71 percent of the class of 2010 is estimated to be lugging that debt, the fifth highest percentage in the nation.

Two local institutions also made the survey's "high debt colleges" list. Both the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and the College of Saint Scholastica were called out in a list of nonprofit universities whose students have average debt between $40,400 and $55,250. The University of Minnesota-Duluth was cited as a public college with average debt between $29,800 and $45,350.

Read the entire report here.

According to figures on the website CollegeInsight, student debt has skyrocketed in the state just within the last ten years. In 2000-01, just about as many students were in debt -- an estimated 69 percent -- but the average amount was only $15,817. Not that 15 grand is a tuppence either.


Hamline professor David Davies is all too familiar with the problem.

All this as the economy continues to falter, jobs are scarce, and more graduates than ever are having a terrible time putting a dent in their debt.

Hold on to your mortarboards, kids. It's going to be a bumpy ride.

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