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59 percent of Missouri college graduates carry debt, report shows



Close to six in 10 new graduates of Missouri’s colleges and universities carry some student loan debt, and the average borrower from those schools has more than $26,000 in loans to pay off.

That’s according to an annual report from LENDEdu, a company that tracks data on student debt. The report was compiled using voluntary responses to a survey about 2017 graduates submitted by 1,080 schools across the U.S.

Among 2017 graduates, Missouri has a slightly higher prevalence of student debt (59 percent) than the U.S. as a whole does (57.96 percent). However, the amount of debt those graduates are carrying ($26,834) is less than the national average ($28,288).

The survey provides debt profiles of 29 Missouri colleges and universities. The five schools with the lowest average student debt per borrower are:

  1. Saint Louis University – $21,292
  2. Washington University – $22,592
  3. Truman State University – $24,938
  4. Missouri Southern State University – $25,314
  5. Kansas City Art Institute – $25,000

The five schools with the highest average are:

  1. William Jewell College – $33,326
  2. Lincoln University – $32,928
  3. Lindenwood University – $32,774
  4. William Woods University – $32,728
  5. Conception Seminary College – $31,817

Missouri Baptist University has the state’s highest rate of graduates with student loan debt, at 93 percent. Washington University has the lowest rate, at 29 percent.

Total student loan debt in the country is now more than $1.5 trillion, according to the report, making it the second-largest type of consumer debt, behind home mortgages.

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