Hawaii college grads carry less debt than mainland peers - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Hawaii college grads carry less debt than mainland peers

(Image: Hawaii News Now) (Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now) (Image: Hawaii News Now)
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

Members of the Class of 2015 left Hawaii college campuses with nearly $24,000 in debt, a new national survey has found.

The analysis also found that half of Hawaii undergraduates had student loan debt.

While the findings from LendEDU, a student loan consolidation and refinancing marketplace, are far from heartening, they do show that Hawaii college graduates fair better than their mainland counterparts when it comes to the amount of student debt they take on.

According to the survey, Hawaii ranked 44th lowest in the nation for the average college debt load of its students.

The state with the lowest college debt load was Utah, where students had an average of $18,772 in debt after graduating with a bachelor’s degree in 2015. Also, just 39 percent of Utah college graduates had debt.

Wyoming ranked 48th lowest and New Mexico was 49th.

The average debt per borrower was highest in Connecticut, where students took on $36,865 in debt on average. Rhode Island and New Hampshire rounded out the top three.

Meanwhile, the University of Hawaii at Manoa ranked 93rd on a list of 250 colleges whose students have the lowest levels of debt.

UH-Manoa's average student debt per borrower was $22,820 in 2015, according to the analysis. Some 48 percent of graduates had student debt.

That's lower than the figures for UH-Hilo, where the average debt was $23,515 and some 62 percent graduates had debt.

Chaminade University of Honolulu borrowers had an average debt of $27,439, meanwhile. The average debt for BYU-Hawaii students was lowest, at just $12,418.

LendEDU looked at student loan debt statistics for 1,300 colleges nationally. From there, statistics were calculated for each state.

“Higher education is expensive. Really expensive,” said the survey’s authors. “Affording the rapidly rising cost of higher education isn’t easy. Increasingly, students and families are using student loan debt to finance tuition, room and board and other expenses.”

Nationwide, some 43 million student loan borrowers are carrying $1.35 trillion in outstanding debt. Sixty percent of U.S. college graduates are carrying student loan debt, the survey said.

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