CSU students average over $22,000 in debt upon graduation

A recent survey by the Institute for College Access and Success on student loan debt showed that the average student graduated with $26,600 worth of debt. CSU students fall well below that number.

Between 2010 to 2011, Rams typically left the university $22,028 in debt. That’s still $255 higher than the average Colorado graduate’s debt, which is $22,283.

Tom Biedscheid, who works with CSU’s Student Financial Services, said that the state’s continued cuts to higher education spending and other factors have led to the rapid rise in debt.

“[Student loan debt] is certainly a hot-button issue right now,” Biedscheid said. “When you look at all the data, about 52 percent of students take out loans, the bottom line is good financial literacy and students understanding what it means to stay within a budget and mapping out costs at CSU will help minimize their debt.”

The rise in student debt troubles Deborah Cochrane, the research director of The Institute for College Access & Success (TICAS)’s. She said that the increasing debt load and poor job market are a recipe for trouble, and that policymakers must head off the problem.

“College tuition is certainly one of the factors related to how much students are borrowing, so politicians need to remember that by cutting money to schools they are shifting the burden onto students and their families,” Cochrane said.