Students who graduated from college in 2016 with educational loans borrowed slightly less to pay for school than those who finished in 2015, new data shows.
The average student loan balance for 2016 was $27,975, down 1.5 percent from $28,400 the previous year, according to a new report from LendEdu.
While that’s more than three times the amount the average student borrowed in the early 1990s, it remains a relatively manageable amount for many borrowers. Financial experts recommend that students keep their total education debt below their projected starting salary. The average starting salary for the class of 2016 was $52,569, according to the National Association of College and Employers.
Still, those figures are averages, which means many students borrowed more and earned less than those figures suggest. At the same time, not all students borrow money to pay for school.
The amount that students borrowed varied significantly by both state and school. Pennsylvania has the highest average debt per borrower, with graduates there owing $35,185. Students in Utah owed the least, with the average borrower finishing school owing $18,810.
By school, graduates of the Rose-Hulman Institute for Technology in Terre Haute, Indiana, owed the most on average per borrower ($59,113) in the U.S., while graduates of Newman University, a Catholic college in Wichita, Kansas, owed the least at $3,809.