Student loan debt doubles in New York over a decade

Sep 22, 2016

College students in New York have more student debt than the national average, according to a report released this week by the state comptroller’s office.

The figures indicate that college student loan debt in New York has doubled over the last decade.

The report finds the average New Yorker with college loans in 2015 owed $32,200 while the national

average is $29,700 dollars. Student loans represented 11.4 percent of the $722 billion outstanding consumer debt in the state in 2015.

But the news isn’t quite as bad for students in Western New York. Deputy State Comptroller Robert Ward told WBFO News students in this region had a slightly lower debt load than their counterparts in downstate regions.

“In 2015, the average student loan borrower in the Buffalo-Niagara region had about $28,700 dollars in outstanding balance of those loans. That was an increase of about 48 percent over the past decade,” said Ward, who is deputy comptroller for budget and policy analysis.

Ward added that college students in Buffalo-Niagara are facing larger loan burdens than students in some other parts of the upstate region.

The study released by Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli indicated that rising college costs are key factors contributing to the rise in student debt. From 2005 to 2015, the average cost for four-year institutions rose from by 50 percent for in-state students attending both public and private universities.

“Comptroller DiNapoli hopes that this report will  be used both by state and federal policy-makers who have a lot to say about federal student loans,” said Ward, adding that the data should also be reviewed  by administrators in the academic arena.