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:
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]