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Average Student Debt Rose In 2014

Students who took out student loans and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 2014 had an average debt load of $28,950, up 2 percent from the year before and 56 percent more than their peers from 10 years earlier, the Institute for College Access and Success says in a report released today.

The 10th annual report from the institute, which is based on data reported by more than 1,000 individual colleges and universities representing more than three-quarters of all bachelor’s degree recipients, finds that 69 percent of those graduates in 2014 took out loans to help finance their studies. Their average debt of $28,950 was up from $28,400 for the class of 2013.

About one-sixth of all debt accumulated by the 2014 graduates was in the form of private student loans, which typically carry higher interest rates and have fewer protections than federal loans. That is down slightly from recent years, when private loans accounted for nearly 20 percent of all debt for graduates.