Skip to main content

Pennsylvania ranks third in average student loan debt

12/12/2013 02:53PM, Published by ACL, Categories: In Print, Schools



The results of a new state-by-state survey by the Institute for College Access and Success show Pennsylvania has the fourth highest percentage of college graduates with student loan debt and the third highest total student loan debt in the nation. 

Keystone Progress Executive Director Michael Morrill said these latest statistics show the importance of adequately funding higher education and solving the student loan debt crisis.

"These are top ten lists Pennsylvania should not be on,” said Morrill. “The student loan debt crisis isn't just hurting borrowers and their families, it is a drag on our economy that will prevent Pennsylvanians from buying a home, starting a business or make investments in their future."

The study by the Institute found that 70 percent of students graduating in Pennsylvania in 2012 had student loan debt, the fourth highest percentage in the nation. 

In addition, Pennsylvania ranked third in terms of average debt amount per student at $31,675. 

Also of concern is the finding that the average student loan debt, already the second largest form consumer debt in the nation and estimated to exceed $1.2 trillion, increased 10% over the last year.

One attempt to solve this problem is the Student Loan Forgiveness Act of 2013 (HR 1330), introduced by Rep. Bass, Karen [D-CA-37]. There are currently 51 co-sponsors, none from Pennsylvania.

Excessive student loan debt is impeding economic growth in the United States. Faced with excessive repayment burdens, many individuals are unable to start businesses, invest, or buy homes. Because of soaring tuition costs, students often have no choice but to amass significant debt to obtain an education that is widely considered a prerequisite for earning a living wage.

 Another solution would be for Pennsylvania to enact legislation to help students and their families. In Wisconsin, the Higher Ed, Lower Debt Act was introduced that would:

• Create a state authority to help borrowers refinance their student loans, just like you can a home mortgage;

• Allow borrowers to deduct their student loan payments on their state income taxes;

• Require borrowers be given detailed information before entering into loan agreements, offer counseling to students and parents on the implications of student loans and require the state to collect and disseminate information about private lenders and maintain a ranking system; and

• Track information about student loan debt in the state to help policy makers better understand the depth and breadth of the debt crisis.

“Pennsylvania needs to deal with this problem now or find its economy will be harmed for generations,” added Morrill.


Like what you're reading? Subscribe to Chester County's free newsletter to catch every headline



institute for college access and success keystone progress student loans student debt student loan forgiveness act of 2013


You might also like

U-CF School Board caps meeting with an icy challenge

John Sanville accepted the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge by donating $100 to ALS research and dumping a cooler of icy water over his head.

Dinniman announces recycling grant for Franklin Township

State Senator Andy Dinniman announced that Franklin Township will receive $3,073 in state funding to support its recycling efforts.

  • Gentle Yoga

    08/05/2015
    05:00pm — 06:00pm

    Reduce the aches and pains of age by increasing your range of motion through the practice of yoga...


  • Hatha Yoga

    08/05/2015
    06:30pm — 07:30pm

    This series of vigorous exercises is designed to strengthen the body and increase flexibility whi...


  • NFL Flag Football Fall Season Sign-ups

    08/05/2015
    07:00pm — 11:55pm

    NFL Flag Football Fall Season Sign-ups Avon Grove NFL Flag Football has begun on-line registra...


  • Art & Inspiration: Summer Art Camp

    08/05/2015
    07:00pm — 08:30pm

    Join us for five fun-filled nights of Art and Inspiration. Beginning Sunday, August 2nd at 7 p.m....


  • Clutterers Anonymous

    08/06/2015
    06:00pm — 07:00pm

    Clutterers Anonymous℠ (CLA℠) is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strengt...


  • NFL Flag Football Fall Season Sign-ups

    08/06/2015
    07:00pm — 11:55pm

    NFL Flag Football Fall Season Sign-ups Avon Grove NFL Flag Football has begun on-line registra...


  • Art & Inspiration: Summer Art Camp

    08/06/2015
    07:00pm — 08:30pm

    Join us for five fun-filled nights of Art and Inspiration. Beginning Sunday, August 2nd at 7 p.m....


Chester County High School Sports