Student loan debt increases in Ohio

Earlier this year, research indicated that college student loan debt across the county was growing at an average of 6 percent annually, meaning that for the first time, the growth rate was on pace to surpass that of the traditional leader, credit card debt.

The Project on Student Debt, a nonprofit research institute, found the levels in Ohio are slightly larger than the national average.

Ohio students carry an average of more than $25,000 in debt, $1,000 greater than the national average, and the 10th highest across the nation, Ohio news provider The Springfield News-Sun reports.

University of Dayton’s students had the highest debt load, with the mean equalling nearly $36,000. By comparison, Wright State University’s figures almost matched the state average. Financial experts say this is because of a decline in college grants, which is causing students to borrow more money than in years past, the news source says.

“Absolutely, we are concerned about student debt,” said Eric Fingerhut, chancellor of the Ohio Board of Regents. “We believe there are many things we can continue to do to keep costs down.”

In 2010, student loan debt reached $874 billion, nearly $50 billion more than the total credit card debt in the United States.