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States with the most and least student debt

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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

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Jaren Wilkey // Wikimedia Commons

#51. Utah

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

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Vreed // Wikimedia Commons

#50. Hawaii

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

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Thecoldmidwest // Wikimedia Commons

#49. Wyoming

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

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Michael Camilleri // Flickr

#48. California

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

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Joe Mabel // Wikimedia Commons

#47. Washington

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

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Wars // Wikimedia Commons

#46. Arizona

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

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Enrico Blasutto // Wikimedia Commons

#45. Alaska

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

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Jackson Myers // Flickr

#44. Florida

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

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Bgervais // Wikimedia Commons

#43. Maryland

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

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Ken Lund // Wikimedia Commons

#42. Nevada

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

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Daderot // Wikimedia Commons

#41. District of Columbia

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

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Cooopersmith // Wikimedia Commons

#40. Colorado

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

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Eugene Kim // Flickr

#39. New Mexico

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

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Aaron Josephson // Wikimedia Commons

#38. Virginia

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

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InSapphoWeTrust // Flickr

#37. New York

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

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Louisiana Travel // Flickr

#36. Louisiana

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

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Larry D. Moore // Wikimedia Commons

#35. Texas

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

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John Phelan // Wikimedia Commons

#34. Massachusetts

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

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Don Hankins // Flickr

#33. Oregon

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

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MatthewUND // Wikimedia Commons

#32. North Dakota

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

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Jalnet2 // Wikimedia Commons

#31. Maine

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

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Sage Ross // Flickr

#30. Oklahoma

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

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Caroline Culler // Wikimedia Commons

#29. North Carolina

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

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Lacwal12 // Wikimedia Commons

#28. New Jersey

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

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Brandonrush // Wikimedia Commons

#27. Arkansas

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

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Adam Procter // Flickr

#26. Missouri

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

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Hanyou23 // Wikimedia Commons

#25. Nebraska

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

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Nightryder84 // Wikimedia Commons

#24. Tennessee

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

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Ibrahim Old // Wikimedia Commons

#23. Illinois

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

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Tnricci // Wikimedia Commons

#22. Rhode Island

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

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Deutschlandreform // Wikimedia Commons

#21. Alabama

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

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Daderot // Wikimedia Commons

#20. Connecticut

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

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Daniel Mayer // Wikimedia Commons

#19. Georgia

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

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Jitze Couperus // Flickr

#18. Montana

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

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Apstrinka // Wikimedia Commons

#17. Idaho

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

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The University of Vermont // Flickr

#16. Vermont

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

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Ron Cogswell // Flickr

#15. Wisconsin

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

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Dfscgt21 // Wikimedia Commons

#14. South Carolina

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

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Nightryder84 // Wikimedia Commons

#13. Kansas

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

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Artstuffmatters // Wikimedia Commons

#12. Delaware

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

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Tom Ipri // Flickr

#11. Kentucky

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

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IT Communications Office // Flickr

#10. Indiana

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

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Tony Webster // Flickr

#9. Iowa

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

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August Schwerdfeger // Flickr

#8. Minnesota

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

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AndrewHorne // Wikimedia Commons

#7. Michigan

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

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Adam Jones Ph.D. // Wikicommons

#6. Mississippi

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

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Michael Barera // Wikimedia Commons

#5. Ohio

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

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Millyard800 // Wikimedia Commons

#4. New Hampshire

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

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shidairyproduct // Flickr

#3. Pennsylvania

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

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Swimmerguy269 // Wikimedia Commons

#2. West Virginia

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

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