After UNH, Plymouth State’s Class of ’10 Had Highest Average Student Debt

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Despite its comparatively low tuition, the Plymouth State Class of 2010 carried the highest average debt after UNH-Durham alumni

This week, we’ve been taking an up-close look at a report released by the Project on Student Debt called, “Student Debt and the Class of 2010.”  We’re working on getting behind the numbers cited in earlier posts (here and here), which found the average student debt carried by an alum of UNH‘s Durham campus is 42 percent more than the average Dartmouth grad’s debt.

We’ll have more on that next week.  But for now, here’s a closer look some of the report’s numbers relating to public four-year institutions in New Hampshire.

While students at the University of New Hampshire’s main Durham campus had the highest average debt load, Plymouth State leads the pack in terms of the percentage of students who needed to take out loans.  PSU also had the highest average student debt after UNH-Durham– despite the fact that it has the second-lowest tuition and fees after Granite State College.  Here’s a table comparing debt loads at different state schools.

Debt At Public Four-Year Institutions In New Hampshire, Class of 2010

Institution Ave Debt % Grads With Debt In-State Tuition And Fees Total Cost Of Attendance
Granite State College N/A* N/A $6,195 N/A
Keene State College $28,986 78% $9,334 $20,428
Plymouth State University $30,925 82% $8,944 $20,788
UNH-Manchester $23,685 77% $10,316 N/A
UNH-Durham $32,323 76% $12,743 $25,348

*We know, there are definitely some gaps in this info.  Here’s how the researchers at the Project on Student Debt explained it:

* Debt data as reported by campuses to Peterson’s Undergraduate Financial Aid and Undergraduate Databases. © 2011 Peterson’s, a Nelnet company. All rights reserved.
** State rankings are from 1 (highest) to 50 (lowest). We did not calculate state averages when the usable cases with student debt data cover less than 30% of bachelor’s degree recipients in the Class of 2010 or when the underlying data for that state showed a change of 30% or more in average debt from the previous year. Such large year-to-year swings likely reflect different institutions reporting each year, reporting errors, or changes in methodology by institutions reporting the data, rather than actual changes in debt levels.

All data are from public and private nonprofit four-year institutions only. Some colleges did not report student debt data. Only colleges that granted bachelor’s degrees and reported the percentage of graduates with debt and average debt are included in the state figures. Enrollment and tuition data are from the National Center for Education Statistics, Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System. Pell Data are from the U.S. Department of Education. Student debt, Pell Grant, and other data can be compiled into sortable tables or downloaded into a spreadsheet on our College InSight web site,

Calculations by the Project on Student Debt. See “Student Debt and the Class of 2010” report for details.”


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