New TICAS Report: Average Debt for Class of 2012 hits $29,400

Average Student Debt Climbs to $29,400 for Class of 2012

Yesterday we released Student Debt & the Class of 2012, our eighth annual report on the student loan debt of new college graduates. Our findings and recommendations got great news coverage nationwide - check out a few samples below!

We found that college graduates who borrowed for bachelor's degrees granted in 2012 had an average student loan debt of $29,400. Seven in 10 college seniors (71%) who graduated last year had student loan debt. One-fifth of their debt was in private loans, which are typically more costly and provide fewer consumer protections and repayment options than safer federal loans. These national figures are based on new federal data that are only available every four years (including 2012), and they include graduates of public, nonprofit, and for-profit colleges. Among our recommendations for reducing the burden: doubling the maximum Pell grant and collecting better college-level data on debt at graduation and private student loan borrowing.

The press release, report, an interactive map with debt levels for all 50 states plus the District of Columbia and more than 1,000 individual colleges and universities are online at

Selected media coverage:
The New York Times
The Washington Post
USA Today

Income-Based Repayment and Pay As You Earn are two ways to help keep monthly payments affordable based on your income and family size. Visit the Department of Education’s Repayment Estimator to find out what your payments might be.

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