Student loan debt and the class of 2013 in Kentucky

Chart - Average loan debt class of 2013

While student loan debt is a serious issue for students and families, here in Kentucky the news is not entirely bad. According to the latest report from the Project on Student Debt, issued last week by the Institute for College Access and Success, Kentucky students’ average debt at graduation was $24,693 for the class of 2013. That is significantly lower than the national average of $28,400. About 59% of Kentucky graduates of four-year public and private colleges and universities had debt at graduation.

Contrary to what some might expect, the average debt was even lower at Kentucky’s private nonprofit colleges and universities. The average debt of 2013 graduates was only $21,265 at the 12 AIKCU member institutions for which data is available. At the institutional level, AIKCU graduates’ average debt ranged from $6,652 to $31,347.

The average debt for 2013 graduates of Kentucky’s eight public universities who borrowed was a little higher at $25,997, but still well below the national average.

Of course, context always helps when thinking about student loan debt and the potential return on investment of borrowing to finance an education. For another way to think about student loan debt, check out “Student Debt vs. Car Loans” on Forbes.com.