Average Student Debt Tops $25,000

Students across the nation are graduating with an average debt of $25,250.

By Ayesha Minhaj
|  Thursday, Nov 3, 2011  |  Updated 6:01 PM PDT
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Students graduating college across the nation are leaving with a record level of student loan debt.

That's according to a new report from The Project on Student Debt at the Institute for College Access and Success (TICAS).

In 2010, students who took out loans to fund their college education owed an average of $25,250 upon graduation. A 5-percent increase from what the class of 2009 owed.

"Student debt continues to rise, but debt levels vary tremendously from school to school and state to state," said report author Mathew Reed. He went on to say that some thought debt levels would be even higher because of the economic downturn, but was helped by increased grant aid.

In the Bay Area, UC Berkeley students graduated with an average debt of $16,056, while Stanford grads had a slightly lower average of $14,058.

Despite having lower tuition, California State University students weren't much better off,  possibly due to the cost of living in the Bay Area. While San Jose State students graduated with an average debt of $9,438, San Francisco State graduates owed an average of $17,706.

Students with the highest debt in the state graduated from the California institute of the Arts, owing an average of $50,017.

In addition to a record level of debt, the class of 2010 also faced the highest unemployment rate for young college graduates in recent history at 9.1pecent, according to the report.

"How you borrow, not just how much you borrow, really matter. If you have federal student loans, Income-Based Repayment, unemployment deferment, and other options can help you manage your debt even in these though time," said TICAS President Lauren Asher.

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