College graduates with student loans are looking at an average debt of $30,100, a new high, according to 2015 data in a new report from the Institute of College Access and Success.
That amounts to paying about $300 a month over 10 years.
That average student loan debt may be understated since the report excludes students who went to for-profit colleges. For-profit institutions don’t usually report relevant loan data, even though most for-profit students borrow money.
Nationally, about seven in 10 (68 percent) seniors who graduated from public and private nonprofit colleges in 2015 had student loan debt, a similar share as in 2014. These borrowers owed an average of $30,100, up four percent from the 2014 average of $28,950. Average debt at graduation ranged from $3,000 to $53,000.
The report found that student debt varies significantly among colleges due to a number of factors, including:
- differences in tuition and fees
- the availability of need-based aid from colleges and states
- colleges’ financial aid policies and practices
- living expenses in the local area
- the demographic makeup of the graduating class
- the degree to which parents use Parent PLUS loans
- and, at public colleges, the extent of out-of-state enrollment