Best Of State Impact: Delving Into NH’s High Student Debt Numbers

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Students all over the country struggle with student debt...and those difficulties are amplified in New Hampshire

After a punishing state budget cycle last legislative session, New Hampshire’s University System took a $40 million hit.  The fallout has reached the state’s students–which already paid some of the highest tuition in the country.  Their bills for state education has gone up, and the University System is proposing another increase to cover rising costs and declining state funds.

Meanwhile, the Project On Student Debt recently reported that New Hampshire state school students who graduated in 2010 carry the highest average debt load in the country.

So StateImpact decided to parse the data a different way, looking at the average debt load for each of the state’s public and private schools, and situating those figures in the context of New England as a whole.  We also delved into the particularly high student debt rate at the University of New Hampshire, and looked into why Dartmouth College actually boasts the lowest average debt in the state.

These posts have proved to be among our most popular features.

So if you missed an installment, or would like to check out the whole series at once, you’re in luck!

Student Debt Reaches Record Levels–And NH Leads The Pack:  This is the post that got us seriously thinking about student loans in New Hampshire.  We synthesize coverage from the Union-Leader and Wall Street Journal, and give you the key by-the-numbers takeaways.  This post provides the jumping-off point for our original coverage on this issue.

Interview: New Hampshire Leads Country In Student Debt: StateImpact’s Amanda Loder talks with NHPR’s All Things Considered host Brady Carlson about the Project on Student Debt report, and what it means for New Hampshire.

New England Carries Some Of The Country’s Heaviest Student Loan Debt: We look at the Project on Student Debt data from another angle, comparing New England to the rest of the country–and the Granite State to New England.

After UNH, Plymouth State’s Class of ’10 Had Highest Average Student Debt:  Despite the fact that the Class of 2010 at PSU paid the second-lowest tuition in the state…they also carry the second-highest average debt load in New Hampshire.  We break down the stats in a cool, easy-to-read table.

Q&A: Explaining Dartmouth’s (Relatively) Low Student Debt Load:  We talk with Maria Laskaris, the Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid at Dartmouth, about why her students carry the lowest average student debt load in the state.  (And it’s not because Ivy League students come from wealthy families who pay their way.)

Q&A: What’s Driving UNH’s High Student Debt Numbers?: The flip-side of the student debt question, of course, is why is it more expensive for many young people to go to the University of New Hampshire than to attend Dartmouth?  We talk with University of New Hampshire’s Vice President for Student and Academic Services Mark Rubinstein about what the financial aid situation looks like at UNH, and how state cuts could affect it.




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