Skip to main content

Main Area

Main

States with the most and least student debt

  • States with the most and least student debt
    1/ Michael Barera // Wikimedia Commons

    States with the most and least student debt

    30 years ago, a high school graduate seeking advanced education was looking at an average tuition of $15,160 for a private, non-profit school and only $3,190 for public universities. As of 2017, that number is closer to $34,740 for private colleges and $9,970 for public schools, and the cost is rising every year—faster than inflation indicates it should. Once the cost of books, room and board, and other fees are added in, paying for college with a part-time or summer job is increasingly becoming a thing of the past.

    Today’s students are instead turning to loans, leading to a widespread debt crisis. Americans currently owe a collective $1.5 trillion in student loans, changing the shape and trajectory of the U.S. economy. Instead of buying a car or a house, millenials are focused on finding a job that will allow them to make loan payments without defaulting.

    Some states are taking steps to help: in 2017, New York governor Andrew Cuomo announced a program that would provide free tuition at public colleges to residents whose families make less $125,000 annually. But not all states need the same assistance, so Stacker looked WalletHub data to determine where student debt is hitting the nation the hardest. WalletHub used 11 metrics to rank each state’s student-loan indebtedness, and grant and student work options. They kept these two major dimensions separate, but used them to come up with a state’s overall ranking, where a higher ranking indicates higher student debt.

    Read on to see where your state falls on the list!

    ALSO: What college grads could buy if they didn't have student loan debt

  • #51. Utah
    2/ Jaren Wilkey // Wikimedia Commons

    #51. Utah

    Total score: 13.77
    Student-loan indebtedness rank: 51
    Grant and student work opportunities rank: 29

  • #50. Hawaii
    3/ Vreed // Wikimedia Commons

    #50. Hawaii

    Total score: 15.6
    Student-loan indebtedness rank: 50
    Grant and student work opportunities rank: 46

  • #49. Wyoming
    4/ Thecoldmidwest // Wikimedia Commons

    #49. Wyoming

    Total score: 24.66
    Student-loan indebtedness rank: 49
    Grant and student work opportunities rank: 33

  • #48. California
    5/ Michael Camilleri // Flickr

    #48. California

    Total score: 25.22
    Student-loan indebtedness rank: 48
    Grant and student work opportunities rank: 36

  • #47. Washington
    6/ Joe Mabel // Wikimedia Commons

    #47. Washington

    Total score: 30.18
    Student-loan indebtedness rank: 46
    Grant and student work opportunities rank: 26

  • #46. Arizona
    7/ Wars // Wikimedia Commons

    #46. Arizona

    Total score: 31.82
    Student-loan indebtedness rank: 44
    Grant and student work opportunities rank: 32

  • #45. Alaska
    8/ Enrico Blasutto // Wikimedia Commons

    #45. Alaska

    Total score: 31.88
    Student-loan indebtedness rank: 47
    Grant and student work opportunities rank: 1

  • #44. Florida
    9/ Jackson Myers // Flickr

    #44. Florida

    Total score: 32.74
    Student-loan indebtedness rank: 45
    Grant and student work opportunities rank: 15

  • #43. Maryland
    10/ Bgervais // Wikimedia Commons

    #43. Maryland

    Total score: 34.36
    Student-loan indebtedness rank: 42
    Grant and student work opportunities rank: 44

  • #42. Nevada
    11/ Ken Lund // Wikimedia Commons

    #42. Nevada

    Total score: 35.4
    Student-loan indebtedness rank: 43
    Grant and student work opportunities rank: 4

  • #41. District of Columbia
    12/ Daderot // Wikimedia Commons

    #41. District of Columbia

    Total score: 36.57
    Student-loan indebtedness rank: 41
    Grant and student work opportunities rank: 34

  • #40. Colorado
    13/ Cooopersmith // Wikimedia Commons

    #40. Colorado

    Total score: 37.15
    Student-loan indebtedness rank: 37
    Grant and student work opportunities rank: 47

  • #39. New Mexico
    14/ Eugene Kim // Flickr

    #39. New Mexico

    Total score: 37.31
    Student-loan indebtedness rank: 40
    Grant and student work opportunities rank: 31

  • #38. Virginia
    15/ Aaron Josephson // Wikimedia Commons

    #38. Virginia

    Total score: 37.94
    Student-loan indebtedness rank: 38
    Grant and student work opportunities rank: 42

  • #37. New York
    16/ InSapphoWeTrust // Flickr

    #37. New York

    Total score: 39.05
    Student-loan indebtedness rank: 32
    Grant and student work opportunities rank: 48

  • #36. Louisiana
    17/ Louisiana Travel // Flickr

    #36. Louisiana

    Total score: 40.18
    Student-loan indebtedness rank: 39
    Grant and student work opportunities rank: 13

  • #35. Texas
    18/ Larry D. Moore // Wikimedia Commons

    #35. Texas

    Total score: 41.23
    Student-loan indebtedness rank: 36
    Grant and student work opportunities rank: 22

  • #34. Massachusetts
    19/ John Phelan // Wikimedia Commons

    #34. Massachusetts

    Total score: 41.28
    Student-loan indebtedness rank: 29
    Grant and student work opportunities rank: 50

  • #33. Oregon
    20/ Don Hankins // Flickr

    #33. Oregon

    Total score: 41.64
    Student-loan indebtedness rank: 34
    Grant and student work opportunities rank: 24

  • #32. North Dakota
    21/ MatthewUND // Wikimedia Commons

    #32. North Dakota

    Total score: 41.76
    Student-loan indebtedness rank: 31
    Grant and student work opportunities rank: 40

  • #31. Maine
    22/ Jalnet2 // Wikimedia Commons

    #31. Maine

    Total score: 42
    Student-loan indebtedness rank: 27
    Grant and student work opportunities rank: 51

  • #30. Oklahoma
    23/ Sage Ross // Flickr

    #30. Oklahoma

    Total score: 43.16
    Student-loan indebtedness rank: 35
    Grant and student work opportunities rank: 8

  • #29. North Carolina
    24/ Caroline Culler // Wikimedia Commons

    #29. North Carolina

    Total score: 44.61
    Student-loan indebtedness rank: 33
    Grant and student work opportunities rank: 7

  • #28. New Jersey
    25/ Lacwal12 // Wikimedia Commons

    #28. New Jersey

    Total score: 45.09
    Student-loan indebtedness rank: 26
    Grant and student work opportunities rank: 39

  • #27. Arkansas
    26/ Brandonrush // Wikimedia Commons

    #27. Arkansas

    Total score: 45.55
    Student-loan indebtedness rank: 30
    Grant and student work opportunities rank: 14

  • #26. Missouri
    27/ Adam Procter // Flickr

    #26. Missouri

    Total score: 46.04
    Student-loan indebtedness rank: 21
    Grant and student work opportunities rank: 45

  • #25. Nebraska
    28/ Hanyou23 // Wikimedia Commons

    #25. Nebraska

    Total score: 46.85
    Student-loan indebtedness rank: 24
    Grant and student work opportunities rank: 27

  • #24. Tennessee
    29/ Nightryder84 // Wikimedia Commons

    #24. Tennessee

    Total score: 47.33
    Student-loan indebtedness rank: 25
    Grant and student work opportunities rank: 21

  • #23. Illinois
    30/ Ibrahim Old // Wikimedia Commons

    #23. Illinois

    Total score: 47.43
    Student-loan indebtedness rank: 22
    Grant and student work opportunities rank: 37

  • #22. Rhode Island
    31/ Tnricci // Wikimedia Commons

    #22. Rhode Island

    Total score: 47.77
    Student-loan indebtedness rank: 23
    Grant and student work opportunities rank: 30

  • #21. Alabama
    32/ Deutschlandreform // Wikimedia Commons

    #21. Alabama

    Total score: 48.41
    Student-loan indebtedness rank: 28
    Grant and student work opportunities rank: 6

  • #20. Connecticut
    33/ Daderot // Wikimedia Commons

    #20. Connecticut

    Total score: 49.63
    Student-loan indebtedness rank: 18
    Grant and student work opportunities rank: 41

  • #19. Georgia
    34/ Daniel Mayer // Wikimedia Commons

    #19. Georgia

    Total score: 51.4
    Student-loan indebtedness rank: 19
    Grant and student work opportunities rank: 23

  • #18. Montana
    35/ Jitze Couperus // Flickr

    #18. Montana

    Total score: 51.66
    Student-loan indebtedness rank: 20
    Grant and student work opportunities rank: 19

  • #17. Idaho
    36/ Apstrinka // Wikimedia Commons

    #17. Idaho

    Total score: 52.38
    Student-loan indebtedness rank: 16
    Grant and student work opportunities rank: 25

  • #16. Vermont
    37/ The University of Vermont // Flickr

    #16. Vermont

    Total score: 53.01
    Student-loan indebtedness rank: 11
    Grant and student work opportunities rank: 38

  • #15. Wisconsin
    38/ Ron Cogswell // Flickr

    #15. Wisconsin

    Total score: 53.57
    Student-loan indebtedness rank: 15
    Grant and student work opportunities rank: 17

  • #14. South Carolina
    39/ Dfscgt21 // Wikimedia Commons

    #14. South Carolina

    Total score: 53.93
    Student-loan indebtedness rank: 14
    Grant and student work opportunities rank: 16

  • #13. Kansas
    40/ Nightryder84 // Wikimedia Commons

    #13. Kansas

    Total score: 54.07
    Student-loan indebtedness rank: 13
    Grant and student work opportunities rank: 18

  • #12. Delaware
    41/ Artstuffmatters // Wikimedia Commons

    #12. Delaware

    Total score: 55.52
    Student-loan indebtedness rank: 12
    Grant and student work opportunities rank: 5

  • #11. Kentucky
    42/ Tom Ipri // Flickr

    #11. Kentucky

    Total score: 55.79
    Student-loan indebtedness rank: 17
    Grant and student work opportunities rank: 2

  • #10. Indiana
    43/ IT Communications Office // Flickr

    #10. Indiana

    Total score: 56.53
    Student-loan indebtedness rank: 10
    Grant and student work opportunities rank: 20

  • #9. Iowa
    44/ Tony Webster // Flickr

    #9. Iowa

    Total score: 59.09
    Student-loan indebtedness rank: 8
    Grant and student work opportunities rank: 28

  • #8. Minnesota
    45/ August Schwerdfeger // Flickr

    #8. Minnesota

    Total score: 59.13
    Student-loan indebtedness rank: 5
    Grant and student work opportunities rank: 49

  • #7. Michigan
    46/ AndrewHorne // Wikimedia Commons

    #7. Michigan

    Total score: 60.28
    Student-loan indebtedness rank: 9
    Grant and student work opportunities rank: 12

  • #6. Mississippi
    47/ Adam Jones Ph.D. // Wikicommons

    #6. Mississippi

    Total score: 62.22
    Student-loan indebtedness rank: 7
    Grant and student work opportunities rank: 9

  • #5. Ohio
    48/ Michael Barera // Wikimedia Commons

    #5. Ohio

    Total score: 63.84
    Student-loan indebtedness rank: 6
    Grant and student work opportunities rank: 10

  • #4. New Hampshire
    49/ Millyard800 // Wikimedia Commons

    #4. New Hampshire

    Total score: 65.15
    Student-loan indebtedness rank: 2
    Grant and student work opportunities rank: 43

  • #3. Pennsylvania
    50/ shidairyproduct // Flickr

    #3. Pennsylvania

    Total score: 66.95
    Student-loan indebtedness rank: 4
    Grant and student work opportunities rank: 11

  • #2. West Virginia
    51/ Swimmerguy269 // Wikimedia Commons

    #2. West Virginia

    Total score: 68.16
    Student-loan indebtedness rank: 3
    Grant and student work opportunities rank: 3

2018 All rights reserved.