Most students applying to college understand that they will need to take on at least some amount of debt to pay for college. But no one wants to have more debt than absolutely necessary. So many ask, what is the average student debt upon graduating and is that something that can be easily paid off?
A new report out from the Institute for College Access and Success has found that the average student debt for students graduating from college in 2012 was $29,400. This is a 10% increase from last year’s average debt of $26,600. Inside Higher Ed has a good article discussing this increase. The article has charts to see the highest and lowest average debt schools and the highest and lowest debt by state.
Personally, I don’t think having some amount of debt upon graduating college is a bad thing as long as payments on the debt can be cash flowed without completely taking other opportunities, like housing, away. What is reasonable? That depends on the person but I have always felt $25,000 to $30,000 was doable for most students given the income they are likely to make on a first job. More than that and serious sacrifices have to be made.
But before you all get completely up in arms about how awful this new number is, read this post, also from Inside Higher Ed.
The number appears to be at a level where making payments upon graduation is going to be difficult. But let’s try to figure out what the numbers really are.