The Project on Student Debt has released the latest debt and unemployment numbers and they achieved the tradition setting of “grim.”
Two-thirds of college seniors left college in 2010 with an average of $25,250 in student loans (the remaining third did not have student loan debt). That particular class was hurt by its timing; most students in the class of 2010 entered college before the economic downturn, which exacerbated both college costs and what their parents could afford.
The continuing poor economy, however, has made it more difficult for those loans to be repaid. From the report (emphasis ours):
In the current economic climate, recent college graduates who borrowed for their education face particular challenges in paying back their student loans. The unemployment rate for young college graduates rose from 8.7 percent in 2009 to 9.1 percent in 2010, the highest annual rate on record. However, the unemployment rate for young college graduates continues to be much lower than that for young high school graduates. The average unemployment rate for 20- to 24-year-olds with only a high school education was 20.4% in 2010.
There is a lot of variance in regional and individual school debt averages — high debt states, for example, are largely concentrated in the Midwest and Northeast; low debt states in the West. Download the full report here.