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Student Loan Debt for North Carolina Grads Is Rising, But Better Than Most States

Photo of a ball and chain with "student loans" written on it
The average college or university graduate of the class of 2017 in North Carolina who took out student loans has a debt load of more than $26,164, well below the national average of $28,288.

Student loan debt is on the rise nationally and in North Carolina, but recent graduates are faring better here than in other states.The average member of the class of 2017 in North Carolina who took out student loans has a debt load of more than $26,164. That’s according to an annual report released this week by LendEdu. The numbers for the report came from Peterson’s financial aid data collected from more than a thousand colleges and universities.

The average student loan debt in North Carolina for 2017 was up by 3.5 percent from the previous class. But at the same time, the percentage of students who have any student loan debt has gone down at a number of universities - including North Carolina State University, the University of North Carolina -Chapel Hill and Duke University.

And overall, there’s some good news for North Carolina: the average student debt for those who went to school here is $2,124 below the national average. North Carolina ranked as the 14th lowest state for average student debt. And eight UNC-system schools ranked among the 200 public schools with the lowest average debt load.

Still, try telling that to new graduates - more than half of whom have at least something to repay for their education.

Here's a full list of average student debt for the class of 2017 at North Carolina colleges and universities.

Liz Schlemmer is WUNC's Education Reporter, covering preschool through higher education. Email:
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