Two-thirds of 2011 college grads in debt

Leah Hansen

Approximately 66 percent of 2011 college graduates finished school with debt and the national average debt was $26,600, according to the “Student Debt and the Class of 2011” report released Thursday by The Project on Student Debt. In 2011, the unemployment rate among college graduates was 8.8 percent, making paying back loans difficult.

Income-based repayment programs can help with this issue and have been available since 2009. State budget cuts have led to tuition increases and borrowing more money. Need-based grants increased over this time.

Seventy-two percent of 2011 graduates in Iowa had debt, averaging $28,753, according to The Project on Student Debt. ISU students graduated with more debt than University of Iowa or University of Northern Iowa graduates.

The ISU Office of Student Financial Aid offers an expenses estimator so students may calculate their university expenses and borrow needs, as well as a repayment calculator so students may estimate their loan repayment amount.