Average Student Debt Increases Over 60 Percent In Past Decade

News & Views | Gerren Keith Gaynor | 12/04/2013 | 04:45 PM EST

The average college grad walks away with nearly $30,000 in debt

It doesn’t look like the rising student debt level will subside anytime soon, according to a new annual report by the Project on Student Debt from the Institute for College Access & Success (TICAS).

The average college graduate who obtained a degree in 2012 walked away with $29,400 in debt, according to the report, which is up from $18,750 a decade before in 2004.

"For many 2012 graduates, their college years came during a time of increasing college costs and stagnant family resources," stated TICAS. "State budget cuts led to sharp tuition increases at many public colleges, increasing students' need to borrow."

Additionally, the percentage of college students who graduated with student debt increased from 65 percent in 2004 to 71 percent in 2012, according to TICAS, which is part of a coalition of interest groups that have endorsed legislation to restore bankruptcy options for private loans.

How to handle the country’s rising student debt - much of which many college graduates are unable to pay back - has become a contentious topic in Congress, which over the summer approved a bill to retroactively lower student loan interest rates. Student loan advocates, however, argue that the legislation was not enough and have called on the White House and Congress to do more to help with the national student loan relief.

(Photo: Getty Images)

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