Graduates from colleges in the District of Columbia have the highest level of debt in the nation, according to a report released Tuesday by The Project on Student Debt. Students in the District’s class of 2008 averaged $29,793 in debt, placing them ahead of students in Iowa, Connecticut, New York, and New Hampshire, some of the states with the highest levels of debt in the country.
The District was represented in the survey by data collected from three area private institutions: Georgetown University, George Washington University, and American University. At the same time, a (relatively) small proportion of D.C. students—49 percent—reported having debt, making them 40th in the country in this statistic.
Although Georgetown and George Washington appear annually on lists of the most expensive schools in the country, American University students reported having both the region’s highest average debt ($34,213) and the highest proportion of students with debt (56 percent). Debt for Georgetown University and George Washington graduates averaged $23,333 and $30,817 respectively.
Adding to the financial hardship for recent graduates, unemployment among college graduates rose to 10.6 percent in the 3rd quarter of 2008, the highest percentage on record.