New Study Shows Salaries Are Not Keeping Pace with Student Debt

National University Graduates with the Heaviest Debt Loads

University Average Debt
Seton Hall University $37,724
New York University $34,417
Worcester Polytechnic $34,409

Source: The Project on Student Debt

Students in the class of 2006 graduated with about $20,000 in debt according to a newly released Project on Student Debt report. Of course, that is the average. Some students, like those listed in the chart above are saddled with nearly twice as much as the average student.

Seton Hall University (NJ) students graduated in 2006 with the heaviest debt loads. New York University and Worcester Polytechnic Institute (MA) students weren't far behind.

On average, graduates of schools in New Hampshire and Washington, D.C. had the highest levels of debt upon graduation; graduates in Hawaii had the lowest. Graduates in the Midwest and New England were more likely to accrue higher debt levels than graduates in the South and the West.

National University Graduates with the Lightest Debt Loads

University Average Debt
Princeton University $4,965
California Institute of Technology $5,156
Harvard University $9,717

Source: The Project on Student Debt

In contrast, some students graduate with less debt. Princeton University (NJ) students and California Institute of Technology students graduated with 75% less debt than the average student.

The report noted that while high tuition was often associated with high levels of debt, low tuition did not necessarily guarantee proportionally low debt.

Student Debt vs. Salaries


According to the Project on Student Debt Report, graduates are leaving college with more student debt than ever before. The result is that starting salaries are no longer keeping pace with the debt.

Between 2005 and 2006, average student loan debt increased 8 percent. In comparison, staring salaries increased by only 4 percent. The worry is that it will become more difficult for graduates to manage debt and pay it off in a timely fashion.

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