The Relationship Between Student Debt and College Completion

On June 29, 2015, Ben Miller with the Center for American Progress wrote the following:

DebtWhile it is easy to bemoan high levels of student debt and big numbers—such as the more than $1 trillion that Americans currently owe—debt itself is not inherently bad if it allows students to earn high-quality degrees and credentials that they could not otherwise afford. The major issue is whether students who borrowed completed their education. In other words, it is far better to be a bachelor’s degree graduate with $28,400 in loans—the national average in 2013—than a dropout who owes $10,000.

To measure the relationship between debt and college completion, the Center for American Progress conducted an analysis that compared the total amount of student loan debt owed in each state with the number of adults ages 18 or older who earned at least an associate’s degree. The analysis indicates that the average debt of student borrowers can often be misleading. In some states, small debt burdens for borrowers look much worse given low levels of postsecondary attainment. In other states, a high average debt for borrowers may not be as concerning because so many residents are earning postsecondary degrees.

See data on student loan debt per borrower and per graduate in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

You can read the original post here.