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Utah Students Have Lowest Average Student Debt, Study Says

  When Utah students go back to college in the coming weeks, fewer will be concerned about student debt compared to students in other states.

A study has ranked Utah as the “Best Place for Student Debt,” meaning it’s the state where students tend to have less debt and an easier time managing it.

Jillian Gonzalez said her company, WalletHub, looked at the average dollar amount of student’s loans, the number of students who have student loan debt, and the amount of grants and work study opportunities to help students get out of the debt. She said Utah placed high in all of those categories.

“Utah was number one because of its low student loan indebtedness. The national average for a student loan is about $25,000. In Utah that number was more like $18,000, which is the lowest we saw. Still significant debt, but kind of the worst of all evils here.”

Gonzalez said 48 percent of Utah students have debt, but in most other states nearly 70 or 80 percent of students are in debt. The company also found that Utah’s graduates pay an average of only 33 percent of their income to student loans.

“Again, sounds like a lot, with a third of your income to paying off student debt," she said. "But really, that number is about a third of what it is in most other states.”

According to the College Board, the average cost of tuition for in-state students is nearly $9,500 annually. According to the Utah System of Higher Education, Utah’s average cost for in-state tuition still sits below $5,000. And Utah’s most expensive school, the University of Utah, is just over $7,000.