CFED Scorecard

Financial Assets & Income

Outcome Measures

Income Poverty Rate

Asset Poverty Rate

Asset Poverty by Race

Asset Poverty by Gender

Asset Poverty by Family Structure

Liquid Asset Poverty Rate

Liquid Asset Poverty by Race

Liquid Asset Poverty by Gender

Liquid Asset Poverty by Family Structure

Extreme Asset Poverty Rate

Net Worth

Net Worth by Race

Net Worth by Income

Net Worth by Gender

Net Worth by Family Structure

Unbanked Households

Underbanked Households

Consumers with Subprime Credit

Borrowers 90+ Days Overdue

Average Credit Card Debt

Bankruptcy Rate

Policy Priorities

Tax Credits for Working Families

State IDA Program Support

Lifting Asset Limits in Public Benefit Programs

Protections from Predatory Short-Term Loans

Additional Policies

Income Tax Threshold

Tax Burden by Income

Prize-Linked Savings

Paperless Payday

Trend Indicators

Change in Net Worth

Change in Asset Poverty

Change in Liquid Asset Poverty

Businesses & Jobs

Housing & Homeownership

Health Care


CFED Assets & Opportunity Scorecard

College Graduates with Debt


Percentage of graduating students from four-year institutions with student loan debt, 2010.


For many low- and middle-income students, high tuition costs are a barrier to college entrance and completion. Usually, students and families must take out student loans in order to afford post-secondary education, and these loans can be a huge challenge to pay back, especially in the current economic climate. Many factors influence the prevalence of educational debt among college graduates. Although high tuition costs are often correlated with increased debt, this is not always the sole reason students take on debt. Other reasons include inadequate grant and scholarship programs, the cost of living, or the level of financial need of the student.

This measure provides data on graduates from four-year public and private nonprofit institutions. Students at for-profit colleges are excluded, as many of these institutions do not report student debt data. However, national surveys by the U.S. Department of Education indicate that even more students at for-profit colleges must borrow to pay for their education than students at nonprofit schools.

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College Graduates with Debt

StatePercent of Graduates
with Debt (%)
United States  65%   
Alabama  56%  19 
Alaska  50%  10 
Arizona  47% 
Arkansas  57%  23 
California  48% 
Colorado  55%  16 
Connecticut  61%  29 
Delaware  50%  10 
District of Columbia  54%  14 
Florida  49% 
Georgia  55%  16 
Hawaii  38% 
Idaho  66%  38 
Illinois  62%  31 
Indiana  62%  31 
Iowa  72%  47 
Kansas  57%  23 
Kentucky  58%  25 
Louisiana  48% 
Maine  68%  43 
Maryland  54%  14 
Massachusetts  63%  34 
Michigan  60%  28 
Minnesota  71%  46 
Mississippi  52%  12 
Missouri  65%  36 
Montana  65%  36 
Nebraska  62%  31 
Nevada  39% 
New Hampshire  74%  49 
New Jersey  66%  38 
New Mexico  56%  19 
New York  61%  29 
North Carolina  53%  13 
North Dakota  —  — 
Ohio  68%  43 
Oklahoma  56%  19 
Oregon  63%  34 
Pennsylvania  70%  45 
Rhode Island  67%  41 
South Carolina  55%  16 
South Dakota  75%  50 
Tennessee  46% 
Texas  56%  19 
Utah  44% 
Vermont  66%  38 
Virginia  58%  25 
Washington  59%  27 
West Virginia  73%  48 
Wisconsin  67%  41 
Wyoming  42% 


Student Debt and the Class of 2010. Oakland, CA: Institute for College Access & Success, Project on Student Debt, 2011.

"—" indicates that no data is available.

Data for this outcome was republished in February 2012 due to an error in the state ranks. For a list of the corrections made, see here.

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