Student loan debt surpasses $1 trillion

Debt accumulation is rising at its fastest rate since the economy took a nose dive in 2008. Residential mortgage debt saw the biggest increase in 2013, at $152 billion. Student loan debt came in second at $53 billion. Total student loan debt is now more than $1 trillion. To quote Ronald Reagan’s famous analogy for understanding just how much a trillion dollars is,

if you had a stack of thousand-dollar bills in your hand only 4 inches high, you’d be a millionaire. A trillion dollars would be a stack of thousand-dollar bills 67 miles high.

That’s a lot of thousand-dollar bills.

Of that $1 trillion, how do Utah dollars stack up?

The Project on Student Debt has compiled a list of statistics, breaking down average debt accumulation by state and college. Utah has one of the lowest student loan debt burdens in the country. With an average debt burden of $21,520 for a 4-year degree, we’re ranked 44th in the country. But that number is still too high. It’s hard to imagine buying a house when you’re already saddled with a down payment worth of debt.

Here is how that number breaks down for Utah’s public 4-year institutions:

  • Dixie State College, $22,412
  • University of Utah, $20,796
  • Utah State University, $18,900
  • Utah Valley University, $14,288
  • Southern Utah University, $13,478
  • Weber State University, no data
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