The Student Debt Crisis Is Hitting These Ten States The Hardest

The student debt crisis in America continues to expand. According to the latest figures from the New York Federal Reserve, the total Student Loans Owned and Securitized, Outstanding (SLOAS) grew to over $1.52 trillion in July. Although the debt crisis affects millions of Americans, the debt is not spread evenly across the country, as millennials in some states are much more likely to be weighed down by student loans.

A new study by personal finance website GOBankingRates revealed that graduates in the northeastern states have the heaviest financial burdens. Of these states, millennials in New Hampshire have outstanding student loans around $36,367 — that is the highest rate in the country, according to the Institute for College Access and Success’s 12th Annual Student Debt report.

Geographically, GOBankingRates noticed an alarming trend of northeastern states made the top ten list for highest average debt and highest percentage of graduates with debt. As shown below, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania made the list while Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts and Rhode Island were among the highest for average debt.

States With the Highest Average Student Debt

  1. New Hampshire Average student loan debt: $36,367 Percent of graduates with debt: 74%

  2. Pennsylvania Average student loan debt: Percent of graduates with debt: 68%

  3. Connecticut Average student loan debt: $35,494 Percent of graduates with debt: 60%

  4. Delaware Average student loan debt: $33,838 Percent of graduates with debt: 63%

  5. Minnesota Average student loan debt: $31,915 Percent of graduates with debt: 68%

  6. Massachusetts Average student loan debt: $31,563 Percent of graduates with debt: 60%

  7. South Dakota Average student loan debt: $31,362 Percent of graduates with debt: 75%

  8. Maine Average student loan debt: $31,295 Percent of graduates with debt: 55%

  9. Alabama Average student loan debt: $31,275 Percent of graduates with debt: 50%

  10. Rhode Island Average student loan debt: $31,217 Percent of graduates with debt: 61%

It makes sense that the Northeast states are carrying higher student loan debt, according to Adam Minksy a lawyer specializing in student loan law. “Certain states have less robust, affordable state education systems,” Minsky tells CNBC.

States like California and Florida have major state universities systems that are affordable, so many millennials chose those institutions with the least amount of debt, Minsky added.

GOBankingRates also noticed states like Utah, New Mexico, and California had the lowest percentage of graduates with debt at just 43 percent and the lowest average debt around $20,000. In fact, the states with the second- and third-lowest percentages of graduates with debt, Wyoming and Arizona, were also both among the ten states with the lowest debt.

As a slowdown in the economy nears, high school graduates and their families are starting to discover that the debt ball and chain via student loans is not a winning strategy when it comes to picking a college. “I was told by everyone to go to the best school you can get into, even if it’s more expensive, it will be a good investment,” Minsky says. “Now we’re starting to see a shift toward making responsible financial choices about college.”

* * *

Heavily indebted millennials might have a shot at paying off their student debt via a new game show on TruTV called “Paid Off.” Contestants must have lots of student loans and could have the chance to answer trivia questions – and if they win, the game show will pay off their student debt.


divingengineer Thu, 08/02/2018 - 22:46 Permalink

Is it a crisis?

What are the effects of imaginary money creating real college graduates, (at least some are STEM). Shouldn’t this be a GDP boosting asset class? Or are college educated young workers a liability? Seriously, I ask because a long time ago they would have been viewed as a great asset to the country, do you think China views their students as a liability? Why do we?


Oldguy05 helltothenah Thu, 08/02/2018 - 23:40 Permalink

That's baloney! After 10 years in the field I took a job at Continental Cable's Regional training Faciity in Portsmouth NH. I taught Safety, Pole climbing, installation, Advanced Installation, Tech 1, 2 and 3, Maintenance, Constrution and Fiber optics, as welll as satellite courses I helped design. I could run circles around many of those I taught. Ohms law freaked them out! Maffs! I'm 60 and a nurse now but I bet I could still climb a pole better than 3/4 of those guys.

In reply to by helltothenah

FireBrander Oldguy05 Fri, 08/03/2018 - 00:13 Permalink

35,000 @ $500/month = 70 months

What's the big deal? That's not far from a typical car loan?

Drive an old car, live with your parents or multiple roommates and you're debt free in 3 years.


The bigger problem is what kids are spending that $35,000 on...worthless degrees!

Local Community COLLEGE offers a course, I SHIT YOU NOT, in Basic Math that includes "working with Fractions"! That is 5th grade math being taught to 19 year olds @$200 Cr/hr!

Geesh, one of my kids went CompSci at a great University and his 3rd level Calculus class finished with just 18 kids ( there are multiple sessions, so maybe ~200 kids passed the class)...this University has a 5 figure enrollment! If you don't take, and pass, those Calc classes...your remaining degree options aren't worth the paper they're printed on let alone $35,000!

In reply to by Oldguy05

Mtnrunnr FireBrander Fri, 08/03/2018 - 00:20 Permalink

if you create fake graduates from fake money to take jobs that don't exist and skew the economics behind the job market wages become depressed and education becomes worthless and your debt only grows. this is why a college education is a liability.

In reply to by FireBrander

RAT005 Mtnrunnr Fri, 08/03/2018 - 00:29 Permalink

I definitely think tuition is way too high as a means to fund socialist leaning institutions of leftist propaganda but consider debt relative to income:

I graduated in '86 with a STEM degree and $12,500 debt.  It was the max gov. guaranteed amount at the time but there were ways to be more in debt but that was pretty high compared to average.  My first job was a little below my qualifications and paid $8.65/hr, about $18-20K/yr with a little overtime.  Within a year found something matching my credentials better paying $10.50/hr=$22K/yr.  By the end of my 2nd year post graduation I was up to about $26K/yr and felt I had caught up from my slow start.

I've read my degree is paying $60K and more starting out of college.  About 3x my starting salary so $36K debt is not much different.  I paid my student debt off in about 3 years.  It was nominally 6 months income and pretty similar to today's numbers.

In reply to by Mtnrunnr

Mtnrunnr RAT005 Fri, 08/03/2018 - 00:51 Permalink

bitch. I have 7 years experience in a STEM field and a publication to my name and I make 35k a year. you can take your fucking 'wisdom' and go fuck the corpse of the united states with it. A) Good luck finding an entry level position as a white man. 2) rent is probably 10 times what you paid? cars are probably... 10x as well. homes even more? Yeah, you listen to me, you entitled cock licker, and mark my words, this shit is real and it is eating our country and it's youth alive.

In reply to by RAT005

RAT005 Mtnrunnr Fri, 08/03/2018 - 00:55 Permalink

ZH published starting salaries based on degree.  I'll find the link and update more numbers.…

The first 10 degrees are STEM with Median Starting Salary ranging from $60K-$40K.

I think my rent then was $425/mo.  In a different location, rents in my current building are $425-$600.  I suspect $600 is pretty close now for the same location and quality as that first place.  My first car was $1500, my payment was $90/mo for 18 months.  My joke was I hope the car outlasts the payments.  At less than 2yrs I traded what was left of it for a $15K new car 1.8L with T-tops, think poor man's MR2.  I just bought a car 2.5x as good as that first car for $5K so that is very comparable.  I would say food is almost 250% of then, what was $1 is now almost $2.50.  I can't remember gasoline, but a few years later I was commuting more and remember a little over $1.  So maybe $0.75 then and I just paid $2.85 so closer to 4x.  Interest rates were around 9-13% for cars and houses, compared to 4% now.

My first house was $120K in 1990.  I think I saw it for $185 recently.  Mortgage rate in 1990 was 9.375%.  So the house is 50% more, the interest rate is half as much, and the taxes are probably double.  I ran all of that through a mortgage calculator using 0% down, initially $1200/yr taxes and now $2400/yr taxes with 30yr mortgages at interest rates of the time:  Then $1,098/mo, now $1,085/mo plus insurance which probably costs twice as much, say from $400 to $800 year so $40/mo more.  The housing cost is almost identical.

I know someone that was excited to just get hired washing dishes at a medical facility for $12.50/hr with the expectation to be cooking for $13.50/hr soon.  But she doesn't speak the way you do so she'll probably do very well.  The engineering office I worked in about 4 years ago paid the admin $12.50/hr starting and probably around $15/hr when they proved they were worth something.  Engineers didn't discuss their salaries but they were probably around $80K plus benefits.

In reply to by Mtnrunnr

RAT005 Pernicious Gol… Fri, 08/03/2018 - 01:54 Permalink

In one post he describes having a degree is a liability.  In another post he describes being in STEM field.  I don't think he is the real deal.  The language is definitely not indicative of a top level STEM graduate.  A post in this thread somewhere described the attrition in the calculus course at a major university.  I suspect this is someone that never passed through that gateway as it was designed to function.  I'll never forget the first day 3rd semester that the prof congratulated the class of ~40 for making it to the 1st degree class in our major.  Then he asked all of the students that graduated 1st and 2nd in their high school to raise their hand and keep them up.  More than half the class did so.  He then said most of us were used to working on our own and leading their class but anyone that tried to do all of the course work themselves would fail.  We should expect 1/3 of the class to fail to graduate from the declared major.  He was right, it was hell, top 5 university in the country.

In reply to by Pernicious Gol…

Last of the Mi… RAT005 Fri, 08/03/2018 - 07:00 Permalink

Cheer up, in 30 years about the time these guys begin to think about retiring the minimum wage will be $35/hr. More than enough to cover that debt you owe. You'll just need to work to the age of about 105 to pay off the debt plus it's accumulated interest. 

And as for as SS. Well, you'd better start running Maryjane now if you plan to have any retirement whatsoever. 

Oh shit, thats what they're doing in all the liberal cities now.


In reply to by RAT005

Mtnrunnr boattrash Fri, 08/03/2018 - 10:41 Permalink



i am channeling it wisely. I’m taking courses to get a degree outside of Biology. 

1) I read that starting salary article too; and I’ve got news for you: ‘starting’ positions require 3 years experience. To make my point several members of my lab have master’s degree and make what I do.

2) everything I’ve said here is consistent. I work at a diagnostics company in NC (I quit my job in Denver because I was told my department was going to be shut down in a few years)


3) statistically speaking not everyone will be promoted. I consider myself average and the average person will be stuck at entry level in my field as automation takes over. And fuck that, I can see the writing on the wall. We just got annual raises and I had the best possible ‘score’ and my raise was.... 2.3%!!!! Guess what. That’s below inflation. 

4) speaking angry truths the old men on ZH who think my generation is lazy or can’t get their feet on the ground because we are somehow lesser does not translate to talking trash at work. I’m sure it makes you mad, but sometimes the truth hurts. Get over it snowflake. 

In reply to by boattrash

Nothing backwaterdogs Fri, 08/03/2018 - 07:29 Permalink

maybe you are the one who should go back to elementary school?  $15 times 40 hours(week) is $600 times 50 weeks is $30,000 ...

This discussion is all so messed up ... around here the people who make the most money are trades people, plumbers and electricians and truck drivers ... but the real money is west of here in the drilling and fracking areas ... the problem with most of these college graduates is that no one bothered to teach them anything about life, such as the value of showing up on time every day at the job site, ready to pitch in and give one's best ....or, the value of not spending money until you have it, but avoiding luxuries you don't need like eating out, air conditioning, and driving the latest, biggest, shiniest car you can get any slick salesman to sell you and finanace at 120% ...


I don't even have a college degree at all but I did 30 years in computer researech, then changed professions to become one of the most successful landlords/property managers in town.  Its mostly a matter of attitude.  Being poor is a very, very easy way of life, but making and keeping money is a bitch ....

In reply to by backwaterdogs

CJgipper RAT005 Fri, 08/03/2018 - 07:27 Permalink

I graduated in '86 with a STEM degree and $12,500 debt. 

We can all stop reading there.  Incapable of understanding reality for STEM graduates.  Does not understand cost of living increases.  Does not understand taxes.  Does not understand REAL debt.  Does not understand the disparity between current incomes and debt levels when combined with 10 fold living expenses.


You have no idea what you're talking about.   

In reply to by RAT005

Twaddlefree CJgipper Fri, 08/03/2018 - 13:57 Permalink

Why is stating the facts of one’s experience “no idea what you’re talking about?” He made no statement in that post regarding current economic conditions other than the statistics (again, facts) on current starting salaries.

Your anger has warped your perspective. I could quote you the same facts for my degree earned in 1980, a time of very high price inflation (interest rates were as high as 21% to buy a house). We all have to cope with the economic situation as it is in our own time. You’re basically telling individuals who are now in their 50s and 60s that we’re clueless about how the world works when we’re living in it, just like you. Sad.

In reply to by CJgipper

lock-stick sanctificado Sat, 08/04/2018 - 01:40 Permalink

ONE whackjob obsessed SPAMMER -- with numerous log-ons!!!

•• Free This  (same WHACK JOB -- used to be "Mr Hankey" -- also banned)

•• sanctificado  (DON'T CLICK THE LINKS!!! --  Biblicism SPAMMER -- banned as powow/Wadolt/ravolla/lloll/pier/etc.)

•• More Sun (it's the JOOS!! -- whack job extraordinaire)

•• Annanuki  (another imaginary friend)

•• Jumanji1959 (another imaginary friend)

•• Adolfsteinbergovich  (another imaginary friend)

•• Cryptopithicus Homme  (another "imaginary friend")


spamming ZH for seven years --- dozens and dozens of banned log-ons




Write to the Tylers ::

In reply to by sanctificado

Mtnrunnr FireBrander Fri, 08/03/2018 - 00:22 Permalink

if you create fake graduates from fake money to take jobs that don't exist and skew the economics behind the job market, wages become depressed and education becomes worthless and your debt only grows. this is why a college education is a liability.

In reply to by FireBrander

GunnerySgtHartman FireBrander Fri, 08/03/2018 - 09:17 Permalink

Local Community COLLEGE offers a course, I SHIT YOU NOT, in Basic Math that includes "working with Fractions"! That is 5th grade math being taught to 19 year olds @$200 Cr/hr!

I completely believe you, sir.  A friend of mine is a retired professor from a local community college, and he has told me horror stories about the quality of graduates coming from public schools.  The CC offers remedial math and English courses to incoming freshmen as standard practice simply because the newbies can't handle the basics.  But the public schools have plenty of money for sports facilities.

Gotta love those government-funded "public" schools!  /s

In reply to by FireBrander

techpriest divingengineer Thu, 08/02/2018 - 23:33 Permalink

Or are college educated young workers a liability?

In this case, many are.

This is a textbook economics case. If a degree must be paid up front, for most families this would come at a significant cost. And if it is at a significant cost, most likely some of the cost will be demanded from Junior, who is going to have to get a job and work to pay for some of his education (I did lab work, the wife did catering, etc.). Generally, if you have to work for the degree, and it costs you, then succeeding at a degree that will actually do something for you is going to be important.

Now, if you can instead get it all on credit, you are going to attract more of the type of student who has a near-term time preference, i.e. someone who doesn't think of the future. That will not be true for *all* students, but *enough* to be observable. If you aren't thinking much of the future, you likely also lack the foresight to ask how a given degree will affect your thinking. So, you get more people with applied bullshitology degrees.

The other issue is the talent margin. When you dramatically expand the number of students who want to get a given degree, and the university puts pressure on your department to take more kids, then you have pressure to accept students you would not have accepted otherwise. This means diluting the student body with low talent. When a given department grows from 200 students (80 in, 30 out) to 800 students, odds are you didn't increase the number of quality students by 4x, and you certainly didn't increase the number of jobs waiting for them by 4x.

In reply to by divingengineer

DEMIZEN techpriest Fri, 08/03/2018 - 00:06 Permalink

A top scoring borderline autistic child pressured to develop scan reading and photo memory skills to beat the SAT MCAT and GRE sieves are more often shrink cases than a real talent having some very disturbing and real issues from fucking their own mothers to pissing their beds, abusing psychotropic shit and so on.  I've seen more than enough of the finest academia before I made my opinion.


why degrees at all and why regulate them? a standardized, adapted, camera monitored computer test could select best candidates in 2 x 4-hour checks before employer trains them or throw some real-life problems at them.


but then again, how would elite and their offspring hold the power then?


In reply to by techpriest

Pernicious Gol… techpriest Fri, 08/03/2018 - 01:34 Permalink

How about parents co-signing the loan, so the kid knows it will be repaid by somebody else if s/he doesn't?

How about kids planning to use the Teach America program to teach in an at-risk area for 2 years in exchange for complete discharge of their student loan debt? Imagine how well they perform, knowing it's nearly impossible to be fired for laziness when you're a teacher in an at-risk school.

In reply to by techpriest

ZIRPdiggler divingengineer Fri, 08/03/2018 - 00:54 Permalink

The money isn't imaginary until the government defaults and it depends on how you calculate GDP. GDP calculations are dependent, in part, upon inflation rates.  Truth is, no one knows the real value of any of these statistics professed by the gubmint every quarter.  We don't even know the nominal value of all the derivatives.  What is the total liability? Depends upon who you ask.  When governments fail, confidence in the currency takes flight in an exponential manner.  That's when money becomes imaginary. 

In reply to by divingengineer

cwsuisse divingengineer Fri, 08/03/2018 - 07:35 Permalink

Agreeably this is not a crisis. It is a GDP creating class of expenditures. However most college students are not an asset but a liability. This is because the majority takes the program for what it is - an employment program - and selects low-flying subjects such as international politics and communication. 

In reply to by divingengineer

yerfej divingengineer Fri, 08/03/2018 - 07:46 Permalink

Some are STEM, that is true. But the majority are graduates with useless pieces of paper. Most students participate in a process of wealth transfer from taxpayers to the federal government to the universities and then saddle the idiots taking gender studies diplomas with the bill. The whole process is a lie.

In reply to by divingengineer