Georgia Ranked #2 with Average Student Debt

Writers Per Hour

Thursday, May 23rd, 2024

In the heart of America's education system lies a troubling reality: the burden of student loan debt weighs heavily on the shoulders of millions, with some states bearing a particularly hefty load. 

Among the fifty, there are five that stand out - not for their academic prowess, but for the staggering amounts of debt their students carry.

Adela Belin from Writers Per Hour delves into the five U.S. states with the highest average student loan debt per borrower, shedding light on the staggering figures and exploring the underlying factors that have contributed to this crisis.


U.S. State

Total student debt (in billions USD)

Number of borrowers

Average student debt burden (in USD)






















South Carolina




South Carolina

South Carolina makes it into the top five with an average debt of $38,360 per borrower, accumulating to $29.1 billion collectively owed by 758,600 borrowers.

‘South Carolina's reliance on private student loans and limited state aid for higher education further exacerbate the debt crisis,’ says Adela.


Florida, with its sun-drenched campuses and bustling student life, finds itself in the fourth spot. Despite its allure, the state's students face an average debt of $38,683, contributing to a staggering total debt of $105.4 billion spread across 2,724,700 borrowers.

‘Florida's diverse economy and influx of out-of-state students seeking warmer climates and renowned academic programs contribute to its high debt levels,’ Adela says.


Virginia ranks third, with an average debt of $39,599 per borrower, totaling $43.8 billion across 1,106,100 borrowers.

‘Certain areas of Virginia, such as the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, have a high cost of living,’ Adela says. ‘Students attending colleges and universities in these regions face additional financial strain due to higher housing, transportation, and other living expenses, contributing to higher levels of student loan borrowing.’


Georgia ranks second in the list, with an average debt of $41,775 per borrower, amounting to a colossal $70.6 billion in total debt held by 1,690,000 borrowers.

Adela notes: ‘Georgia's large student population and limited state funding for public universities also play a role in the high debt burden.’


Leading the pack is Maryland, where the average student debt burden per borrower stands at a daunting $43,116. With a total student debt tallying at $36.7 billion spread across 851,200 borrowers, it's a state where dreams of higher education come at a steep cost.

‘Despite being a relatively wealthy state, Maryland has faced challenges in adequately funding its public higher education institutions,’ Adela says. ‘Limited state funding means that universities may need to rely more on tuition revenue to cover their operating costs, resulting in higher tuition rates for students.’

A Vicious Cycle

These staggering debt levels can be attributed to various factors, including the rising costs of tuition and living expenses, coupled with insufficient state funding for higher education. 

As college costs continue to soar, students are forced to rely more heavily on loans to finance their education, leading to a vicious cycle of debt accumulation. Living expenses, including housing, food, and transportation, add to the financial strain, pushing students deeper into debt.

Compounding this issue is the dwindling state funding for higher education. As public investment in colleges and universities wanes, institutions are forced to increase tuition to make up for the shortfall, placing an even greater burden on students and their families.

Additionally, the economic downturns and job market uncertainties in recent years have left many graduates struggling to secure well-paying jobs, making it difficult to repay their loans in a timely manner.

Adela says: ‘As the numbers show, the student debt crisis is not an abstract concept but a stark reality faced by millions of Americans, particularly those in states where the weight of debt is most acute. Without meaningful intervention and systemic change, the promise of higher education may remain out of reach for far too many.’

‘Addressing the student loan debt crisis requires a multifaceted approach, including increasing state funding for public institutions, promoting financial literacy among students, and exploring innovative solutions to make higher education more affordable and accessible,’ she adds.