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Student loan debt: Worse than you’ve heard

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You’ve probably heard some recent college graduate lamenting the financial pressures of high student loan debt along with stagnant wages. Perhaps you rolled your eyes or considered that it couldn’t possibly be as bad as all that.

The data show that in South Carolina it is as bad as all that — and worse than in many states.

The latest numbers from The Institute for College Access & Success show S.C. college graduates carry more student loan debt, on average, than grads in nearly every other state in the Southeast, and the state is among the 10 states for highest student debt load.

Also, South Carolina is one of five states where the net cost of going to college exceeds the family income for low-income students. The nonprofit organization used self-reporting data from Peterson’s LLC, so not every college and university is represented.

What about college students in South Carolina?

At more than $38,000, college graduates at Coastal Carolina University were saddled with the most debt among public and private colleges across the Palmetto State in 2016. The College of Charleston ranks fourth-lowest in student debt, while The Citadel ranks sixth-lowest out of 17 colleges reporting data.*

*Charleston Southern University wasn’t listed.
Sources: The Institute for College Access & Success, Peterson’s LLC

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