The Average Student Loan Balance Is $37,172

College graduates have an average of $37,172 in student loan debt in 2017. This is up 6% from last year. 

College expenses encompasses much more than tuition and fees. Most colleges require expensive text books and supplies, more for every class and every semester. Many colleges also require full-time students to have two years of on-campus room and board, this excludes the possibility of cheaper off-campus housing options. Combine all that with the personal spending, transportation, meal plans, and more that a student accrues over four years and you get one very costly education.

Believe it or not, Americans owe over $1.3 trillion in student loan debt, spread out among about 44 million borrowers.

More 2017 shocking student loan debt statistics

If those numbers weren’t stunning enough, here’s a closer look at how students accumulate debt based on the type of school they attend.

  • 1.3 million students are graduating with debt, 70% of all graduates (increased from 1.1 million since 2008)

  • 66% of graduates from public colleges had loans (average debt of $25,550)

  • 75% of graduates from private nonprofit colleges had loans (average debt of $32,300)

  • 88% of graduates from for-profit colleges had loans (average debt of $39,950)

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