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Pennsylvania grads carry nation’s second largest college debts

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Pennsylvania’s 2017 college graduates carried the second-highest average student debt loads in the nation, according to a report issued Wednesday.

The Institute for College Access and Success 2017 student debt report found the average Pennsylvania student graduated with $36,854 in college debt last year, second only to graduates in Connecticut, where the average debt topped out at $38,500.

Utah college graduates had the lowest average debts at $18,850.

Nationally, two in three students graduated with student debt averaging $28,650 last year.

The only good news on the horizon was that the growth in debt levels seems to be slowing. The survey found debt levels climbed only 1 percent over 2016.

“While the growth of student debt slowed down in recent years, averages mask important differences in who carries debt and whether they can repay it,” said James Kvaal, TICAS president. “Lower income graduates are more likely to leave college with debt and have more of it, and more than one in 10 of them will end up in default. We need to invest more in student aid and in colleges to reduce students’ need to borrow, and make their loans easier to repay.”

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