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Report: Md. 29th for student loan debt in class of 2016

Students at Morgan State had highest debt among 17 Md. schools

(samuraitop / Depositphotos.com)

(samuraitop / Depositphotos.com)

Maryland college students with student loans in the class of 2016 graduated with an average of $27,241 in debt, a report released Thursday found.

That debt load put Maryland in the middle of the pack for the 50 states and the District of Columbia. The state finished 29th out of 51 on LendEDU’s state-by-state rankings.

Of the 17 Maryland schools that reported data, Morgan State University graduates had the most student debt, $36,674. At Morgan, 81 percent of students graduated in 2016 with some kind of student debt.

LendEDU compiled the report. The company is dedicated to educating people about student debt and operates an online marketplace to inform users about refinancing options of their student debt.

The LendEDU team was surprised that nationally, student debt per borrower fell from 2015, while the percentage of students with student loans increased, said Nate Matherson, cofounder and CEO of LendEDU.

In Maryland, the average student debt load increased marginally, 0.34 percent.

Maryland’s neighbors all had higher debt per borrower than Maryland. Pennsylvania finished first in the country, with an average debt per borrower of $35,185.

While more than 1,100 schools reported their numbers to LendEDU, participation in the report was voluntary. Some Maryland schools, including Johns Hopkins University, Bowie State University and Coppin State University, did not appear in the report.

Morgan State had a much higher rate of students using private loans to help pay for school, with 79 percent of graduates going that route. The next closest school was Washington College with 20 percent.

Unlike Washington College, where those students who take out private loans have an average debt of $43,612, Morgan State graduates did not require as much and likely used the private loans to cover what federal loans did not. Morgan State graduates averaged $4,366 of private debt per borrower.

Using private loans to help cover gaps that federal loans will not is a typical practice, Matherson said. LendEDU releases its report as part of an effort to increase transparency around the loan process.

“We wanted to include that to show students and families what they could expect in terms of student loan debt if they were average,” he said.

With the exception of Morgan State, the top colleges for student debt were all private schools in Maryland. That reflects general trends nationally in the LendEDU report that private school graduates borrow more than public school students.

At the University of Maryland, the state’s flagship public university, the 43 percent of students that graduated with debt left school with an average debt of $27,559. In state, that put Maryland 10th of the 17 schools that reported. Nationally, the school ranked 711th.

The University of Maryland, Eastern Shore, reported the lowest amount of student debt for graduates. The 62 percent of students that graduated with student loans averaged $9,861 of debt.

Nationally, Indiana’s Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology graduated students with the most student debt, averaging $59,113. Newman University, in Kansas, had the smallest average debt load, just $3,809.

School State Rank Overall Rank Average Student Debt per Borrower Percent of Graduates with Student Debt Average Private Student Debt per Borrower Percent of Graduates with Private Student Debt
Morgan State University 1 163 $36,674 81% $4,366 79%
Loyola University Maryland 2 178 $36,208 62%
Washington College 3 189 $35,957 61% $43,612 20%
McDaniel College 4 219 $35,397 71% $34,662 14%
Stevenson University 5 268 $34,324 78% $30,634 15%
St. John’s College 6 273 $34,212 74% $38,880 11%
Mount St. Mary’s University 7 291 $33,894 77% $43,354 19%
Goucher College 8 309 $33,446 62% $43,494 12%
Hood College 9 489 $30,554 71% $15,063
University of Maryland, College Park 10 711 $27,559 43% $35,640 8%
Salisbury University 11 753 $26,940 59% $28,074 11%
UMBC 12 832 $25,505 46% $28,387 8%
Towson University 13 834 $25,483 61% $32,326 11%
Frostburg State University 14 842 $25,347 76% $20,279 13%
St. Mary’s College of Maryland 15 901 $24,213 53% $49,741 5%
Peabody Conservatory 16 1031 $20,730 32% 4%
UMES 17 1129 $9,861 62% $10,678 3%

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