Oakland, CA - Student Debt and the Class of 2017, TICAS' 13th annual report on debt for bachelor's degree graduates of public and nonprofit colleges, finds that Illinois students have the 24th highest average student loan debt in the country. According to the report, the average debt load at graduation in 2017 in Illinois was $29,214, and 61 percent of students in the state graduated with debt.
"Too many Illinoisans face the burden of crushing student loan debt. Illinois borrowers are putting major life milestones â€“ like buying a car or starting a family â€“ on hold because of student debt," Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) said. "I continue to call on Congress to address this crisis before an entire generation is lost to student loan debt. I have put forward many proposals and stand ready to work with my colleagues. We can't afford to wait any longer."
The new report finds that, nationally, the average debt for the Class of 2017 was only 1 percent higher than the 2016 average. Theslower growth in student debt for recent college graduates is welcome news, though additional, targeted investments from states and the federal government remain an important priority for reducing students' need to borrow and ensuring that borrowers' debts are manageable.
"While the growth of student debt slowed down in recent years, averages mask important differences in who carries debt and whether they can repay it," said James Kvaal, TICAS president. "Lower income graduates are more likely to leave college with debt andhave more of it, and more than one in 10 of them will end up in default. We need to invest more in student aid and in colleges to reduce students' need to borrow, and make their loans easier to repay."
An interactive map with details for all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and more than 1,000 public and nonprofit four-year colleges is available at https://ticas.org/posd/map-state-data.