The Project on Student Debt is one of the leading groups analyzing the increasing obligations that many college graduates are taking on. These days, the cost of attending university — not to mention room and board, as well as other necessities like textbooks — weigh heavily on both current and prospective students. Many students are choosing their college or choosing not to go to college at all on the basis of cost rather than on the basis of academic merit.
The nonprofit’s findings show that debt levels are increasing, making the problem worse. In 2012, 71 percent of college graduates from four-year institutions carried some amount of student debt, up from 68 percent in the year before. These obligations can weigh heavily on young adults, forcing them to set aside a significant portion of their salary for years after graduating. That assumes they can find a job, considering that unemployment for college graduates is still around 7.7 percent, the study notes.
The report also points out that there is an extreme amount of variance in student debts, both by state and by college. While you might think that more expensive colleges always create higher debt levels, this trend, while true overall, does not always hold. Regionally speaking, the Northeast and the Midwest continue to put up some of the highest debt levels in the nation. Let’s take a closer look at the seven states with the highest levels of student debt.