As students continue to take on thousands of dollars in debt to finance their college education, a new study reveals that New England colleges come with the biggest price tags.
The rankings — compiled by LendEdu for the fourth year in a row using the annual Peterson’s financial aid survey — looked at self-reported student loan debt figures from nearly 1,000 four-year U.S. private and public higher education institutions.
With many of the schools setting students back upwards of $50,000 in debt, “it’s really just the Wild West when it comes to these colleges,” Mike Brown, a research analyst at LendEDU, told Yahoo Finance. “They can raise tuition prices, however high they want, there’s no one keeping them in check.”
The Wild West of college tuition appeared to be in the Northeast, according to the study. The report found that borrowers from Connecticut in particular held the most debt, at $38,776 on average, followed by New Hampshire ($36,754) and Rhode Island ($36,121).
“Generally, everything’s just more expensive in the New England, Northeast area,” Brown explained. “The cost of living is more expensive than most other parts of the country … [and] the cost of living applies to students as well. Student loans are supposed to be used for living expenses, like meals, and room and board and books, and anything else that a student needs.”
The headache graduates face when repaying these loans is evident through some sobering statistics.
A recent New York Fed report stated that outstanding student loans totaled $1.48 trillion as of the second quarter of this year, and student loans have now become a large portion of loans that are turning severely derogatory — at 35%.