‘Unprecedented’ college debt in 2016: A new study

By Jessica SchulmanThe Associated PressPosted Feb 24, 2018 12:31PM ESTNEW YORK — The amount of college debt for undergraduates increased nearly $2,000 last year, with the average debt for the average student rising to $35,800, according to a new report.

The average debt at the public universities increased $1,200 over the past year to $43,400, according the report by the National Association of College and University Business Officers.

It was the second consecutive year the average number of students taking out loans has increased.

The number of borrowers filing for bankruptcy in 2016 jumped from 9,700 to 14,600.

It also rose more than 10 percent from the previous year.

The report comes as colleges grapple with mounting debt loads and a looming shortage of students.

Some institutions have started reducing the number of credit hours a student can take, which has increased the cost of the loans.

For example, at Brown University, the average loan amount for undergraduate students is now $27,200, down from $39,400 in 2014.

At Washington State University, students who are in debt must pay more than $36,600 a year, down by more than 30 percent from last year.

Some institutions are also raising the cost to borrow by cutting credit hours, increasing fees and offering more lenient loan repayment terms.