By Anthony Silva |Staff Writer|
The Institute for College Access and Success released its 2013 report on student debt and California ranked as the state with the second lowest average debt.
Overall, the average college graduate borrowed $28,400.
This was a two percent increase from the $27,850 average reported in 2012, according to the Institute’s report. Some states, including New Hampshire and Delaware, reported debt increases of up to 10 percent.
In California, the average debt for a college graduate was $18,656 and California State University (CSU) students had some of the lowest debt levels.
However, of the CSUs mentioned in the Institute’s report, CSUSB students had the highest debt levels.
Students graduating from CSUSB owed an average of $18,956.
This amount was noticeably higher than Sacramento State, which had the lowest CSU debt average at $4,551.
The average CSUSB student’s debt was also higher than the $17,400 UC Berkeley students typically owe when they graduate.
“I came to CSUSB because I thought I couldn’t afford to go to a UC or private school. To hear that I’m paying just as much, if not more, is pretty crazy,” said student Chris Garcia.
There are multiple factors that affect the amount of money students may need to borrow.
“For many students who graduated in 2013, their college years came during a tough economical time. State budget cuts led to tuition increases which meant that many students needed to borrow more,” said Matthew
Reed, a representative for the Institute.
The Institute’s report focused only on the nation’s public and private non-profit universities, which include CSUSB and University of Redlands. Not included in the report were public for-profit colleges like University of Phoenix and DeVry University since the Institute reported that these schools typically do not release how much money their students owe.
Not all students graduated with debt in 2013. About three in 10 students in the U.S. had no debt when they left school, according to the Institute’s report.
In California, colleges that participated in the report stated 45 percent of graduates were leaving school without any debt, which is slightly higher than the national average, according to the report.
There are currently no laws that require colleges to report data on the amount of debt their students owe. The Institute stated that more than half of the nation’s colleges voluntarily offered financial figures for use in their report.
In a recent Los Angeles Times article, the Institute’s research director Debbie Cochran stated, “Our report can be a good resource for both universities and students. However, we wish that more schools would participate so that it would be more comprehensive.”
The Institute acknowledged that the debt levels could be higher than what was reported since not all colleges submitted their information.