Student debt has increased 25% over the last four years, according to the “Student Debt and the Class of 2012” report.
The report also reveals that 71% of all college students borrow, and the average loan is now $29,400, up from $23,450.
Even these figures do not reveal all. The debt per borrower ranges from $4,450 to $49, 500. That is a large difference so consumers really need to check out college costs.
The National Postsecondary Student Aid Study put out by the federal government offers the best student debt data, but it is published only every four years or so. In the meantime, student debt is estimated based on colleges providing data voluntarily to Peterson’s, publishers of the College Guide.
One thing to keep in mind is debt level varies depending on the kind of college you attend.
• At public colleges, 2/3 of students borrow, and their average debt is $25,500.
• At private non-profit colleges, ¾ of students borrow with an average debt of $32,300.
• At for profit colleges 88% of students borrow, and their average debt is $39,950.
Even these figures must be weighed carefully as private loans and additional loans taken out by parents are not fully reported.