Student loan debt is a ghost that haunts graduates and non-graduates well into adulthood, and the amounts aren't getting any smaller. According to the latest estimate, the average debt for recent graduates is damn near $30,000—or the equivalent of a shitty starting salary:
Seven in 10 college seniors who graduated in 2012 had student loan debt, with an average of $29,400 for those with loans. The national share of seniors graduating with loans rose in recent years, from 68 percent in 2008 to 71 percent in 2012, while their debt at graduation increased by an average of six percent per year.
Worse, that figure is a 10 percent increase over last year, which doesn't bode well for the future. Furthermore, a state-by-state breakdown flags Delaware ($33,648), New Hampshire ($32,698) and Pennsylvania ($31,675) among the states drowning in debt, while New Mexico ($17,994), California ($20,269) and Arizona ($20,299) are among the most debt-free.
[via Gawker and Student Debt and the Class of 2012]