Graduates from these colleges, universities have the most debt: report

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Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to remove incorrect information submitted by a university.

(NEXSTAR) — The average federal student loan borrower in the U.S. owes nearly $35,900, the most recent data made available by the Department of Education shows. The college or university you choose to attend can have a big impact on your own student debt, a report has found.

Using the latest data from Peterson’s, an educational services company, The Institute for College Access & Success analyzed the student debt of those who graduated from four-year higher education institutions in 2020. Only public and private nonprofit colleges were included in the analysis.

TICAS found the state averages for debt at graduation for the class of 2020 ranged from $18,350 in Utah to $39,950 in New Hampshire.

The report also features debt data for graduates from hundreds of colleges and universities across the country. This includes the average debt of graduates from the school, the percentage of graduates with debt, the average private debt, and the percentage of graduates with private debt. According to TICAS, these statistics are only available for institutions that provided data to Peterson’s.

In light of President Biden’s impending widespread student loan forgiveness, barring at least one lawsuit filed against the administration, we’ve reviewed the schools that leave borrowers with the most and least student loan debt upon graduation.

Midwestern State University, located in Wichita Falls, Texas, left students with the most debt after their accepted their diplomas.

Based on TICAS’s report, students from these five public institutions had the most debt after graduation:

SchoolStateAverage Debt
Midwestern State UniversityTexas$49,146
University of New Hampshire-Main CampusNew Hampshire$45,755
North Carolina Central UniversityNorth Carolina$44,312
Indiana University of Pennsylvania-Main CampusPennsylvania$43,778
Montclair State UniversityNew Jersey$43,608

Nearly every 2020 graduate from Midwestern State University — 97% — left the school with debt.

On the opposite end, there were five schools reporting that their students graduated without any debt: Los Angeles City College, Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology, South Suburban College in Illinois, Mississippi Delta Community College, and Williamsburg Technical College in South Carolina.

Below are the public colleges and universities that, while their graduates left with debt, the average amount was the lowest among reporting schools:

SchoolStateAverage Debt
Daytona State CollegeFlorida$1,586
State Technical College of MissouriMissouri$1,800
South Florida State CollegeFlorida$3,083
University of Arkansas Hope-TexarkanaArkansas$3,445
Alabama State UniversityAlabama$3,474

When it comes to public institutions, data shows those in the northeast tend to see graduates leave with more debt than those in the southern U.S. The trend was less obvious among private colleges and universities.

With an average debt nearly double that of the most expensive public school, Boulder, Colorado’s Naropa University topped out the list of private institutions with the highest debt among new graduates.

These four private nonprofit institutions had the highest average debt among graduates, TICAS found:

SchoolStateDebt
Naropa UniversityColorado$83,811
New York School of Interior DesignNew York$65,401
Boston Architectural CollegeMassachusetts$62,293
St. Louis College of PharmacyMissouri$62,085

Like public schools, there were a handful of private colleges and universities in which graduates had no debt: New Saint Andrews College in Idaho, College of the Ozarks in Missouri, Clear Creek Baptist Bible College in Ohio, Gannon University in Pennsylvania, and Boston Baptist College.

Though their average debt isn’t zero among graduates, these five private nonprofit colleges and universities had the lowest burden:

SchoolStateDebt
Berea CollegeKentucky$1,939
Arizona Christian UniversityArizona$4,007
Rochester UniversityMichigan$5,327
Webb InstituteNew York$5,385
Bethel College-North NewtonKansas$5,633

The report also found there are some schools you are guaranteed to graduate from with debt. Five private institutions said all of their 2019-2020 graduates left with debt:

  • Boise Bible College in Idaho
  • Andrew College in Georgia
  • Boston Baptist College
  • Saint Louis Christian College in Missouri
  • Charlotte Christian College and Theological Seminary in North Carolina

Just one public school — Mayville State University in North Dakota — notes all of its graduates have debt.

You can see where your school ranks here.

Depending on the result of a lawsuit filed last week, millions of Americans will soon be able to apply for Biden’s federal student loan forgiveness. Over 40 million Americans are expected to have some or all of their federal student loan debt forgiven, according to the Biden administration.

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