THE BLOG
08/30/2016 04:36 pm ET Updated Aug 31, 2017

Student Loan Debt: How Your State and School Ranks

Every year more students are heading to college and racking up insurmountable loads of debt, all while lacking a clue on how to pay it all back.

The amounts owed can vary per person, but little do many of us know that the states where you attend college and the schools themselves can actually help you determine how much debt you'll graduate with.

Fortunately, more studies are presenting themselves to help students and parents make better decisions when deciding on which schools to attend.

These studies gather data to determine the states where students graduate with the highest and lowest amounts of debt. Furthermore, they also provide a detailed look into both private and public universities and how much students are borrowing to attend those schools.

So, if the time has come for you and your child to make a decision about what school they should attend, you might want to take a peek at what these studies have to offer.

The Student Debt Burden By State

The first study compares the amount of student loans borrowed by state.

The state with the highest rate of student loan debt, coming in at number one, is Connecticut. Students who attend schools in this state graduate with a little over $36,000. Rhode Island comes in at a close second, with graduates footing a student loan bill of a little over $35,000.

The state with the least amount of student loan debt is Utah, coming in at fifty. The average amount borrowed for Utah students is a little over $18,000. Coming in at a close second is New Mexico. Graduates who attend school in New Mexico graduate with a little over $20,000.

So, Utah and New Mexico might not sound like the most exciting places to your child, but the point is -- there are certain states your child might want to consider if they have no other choice but to borrow for their future education.

In the event neither of these states sounds appealing to them, there are other states on this list that might pique their interest, so help them carefully weigh their options before blowing off any contenders.

Let's take a look at a few schools now.

The Student Debt Burden By Schools (Public and Private)

Here are the top five (4-year) schools and universities where students graduate with the least amount of debt.

Dalton State College ($3,000),
College of the Ozarks ($5,339),
Davis College ($5,360),
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences ($7,000)
Barclay College ($7,220)

Below are the top five (4-year) schools and universities where students graduate with the most amount of debt.

Berklee College of Music ($86,262),
Molloy College ($62,744),
Everglades University - Sarasota ($59,699),
National University ($52,986),
Everglades University - Boca Raton ($52,166)

What This Information Tells You

The information you can glean from this report can ultimately help you decide which state and what school is going to have the least impact on your child's future debt obligation. The cost of college varies per state and there is a considerable difference in the amount of debt borrowed from certain schools.

For instance, College of the Ozarks, Davis College, and Barclay College are three schools among the top five (4-year) schools where students graduate with the least amount of debt. All three of these schools are private college.

These findings could suggest that the amount of scholarship and aid provided to students at these schools are greater than some of the other schools that made the list. Especially compared to public institutions where the debt load is higher.

In Conclusion

While you're considering colleges, you may be more inclined to compare the costs of different schools and locations; however, don't forget to include the amount of debt your child may graduate with from each prospective school.

The information provided in these comparisons of school and states should be used to decide which school not only supports your academic and price tag criteria, it should also be used to determine which school is the most generous with their financial aid.

It's been established that pursuing a college education isn't cheap, but it's time to fight the growing student debt by considering schools who will provide a quality education without leveraging your child's future.