States where Americans have highest levels of student loan debt

Student loan debt has become a focal point in the American dialogue, as business leaders like JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon and a growing chorus of lawmakers voice concern about growing debt levels among Americans.

Outstanding student loan debt hit $1.46 trillion at the end of last year, according to data from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, second only to mortgage debt as a share of Americans’ total debt burdens.

According to data from Deutsche Bank Research, most people have balances between $10,000 and $25,000.

But averages in some areas of the country are much higher.

LendEDU analyzed data from 922 colleges and universities, including data from the graduating classes of 2007 through 2017, to find out where student debt burdens were the highest.

Here’s a look at the results:


As of 2017, the average debt per borrower in Pennsylvania was $35,988 – a more than $12,100 increase over 2007.

Pennsylvania has a large number of colleges in the state, which could account for its high ranking – at 72.

Washington & Jefferson College ranked sixth among the colleges with the most average debt per borrower in 2017 – with the average balance totaling $59,419.

Rhode Island

Following Pennsylvania, residents in Rhode Island had the second highest average student loan debt – at $35,371 per borrower as of 2017. That’s an increase of nearly $11,000 per person over the decade ending in 2017.

Rhode Island only has 7 schools in the state, with Bryant University taking the seventh spot among colleges and universities where borrowers have the highest average debt burdens – at $52,949 per person.


With one school in the state, Delaware residents had the third highest average debt per borrower, at $34,144.

That amount has nearly doubled since 2007, when it was $17,200 per person.

New Hampshire

The average debt per borrower in New Hampshire is $32,783 – ranking it third among all 50 states.

There are ten schools in the state.

The college where graduates have the most debt per person in the Granite State is Keene State College, where the burden as of 2017 was $40,195.


Borrowers in Minnesota are weighed down by an average student debt burden of about $32,499 per borrower.

Over the decade ending in 2017, those per person obligations rose more than $7,750, on average.

Minnesota has about 20 colleges.


Rounding out the top 10 were:

Alabama ($31,719 per person)

Connecticut ($31,602 per person)

South Dakota ($31,324 per person)

Michigan ($30,903 per person)

New York ($30,899 per person)