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Some states have more student debt than others — here’s why

With 70% of bachelor’s degree recipients graduating with loans, student debt is becoming an almost universal experience, but that experience may differ depending on where you live.

The average student debt load in each state ranges from $20,000 in Utah to $36,350 in New Hampshire, according to a report released Wednesday by the Institute for College Access and Success, an organization focused on increasing equality in higher education. The report is based on student-loan data from public and private, nonprofit colleges.

The states with the highest debt levels tend to be concentrated in particular areas of the country. In the Northeast, which has many of these states, students are more likely to attend private nonprofit colleges, which typically cost more, leaving students with more debt, said Debbie Cochrane, the vice president of TICAS.

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