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Personal Finance > College
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Student debt on the rise
More students are graduating with larger debt burdens a part of their fiscal future.
March 8, 2002: 1:59 p.m. ET

graphic NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Many college students are not only leaving school with diplomas, but also unmanageable debt burdens.

In 1999-2000, 64 percent of college students graduated with student loan debt, and the average debt has nearly doubled during the last eight years to $16,928, according to a report from the State Public Interest Research Group's Higher Education Project.

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Of that 64 percent, 39 percent of student borrowers leave school with unmanageable debt levels, meaning that their monthly payments are more than 8 percent of their monthly incomes.

Those students from lower-income households are also more likely to graduate from college with debt. In 1999-2000, 71 percent of students from households making less than $20,000 graduated with debt, compared to 44 percent of students from households making more than $100,000, the report stated.

  graphic GROWING DEBT  
    In 1999-2000, 64 percent of students graduated with student loan debt; average student debt has nearly doubled during the last eight years to $16,928.
   
About 55 percent of African-American students and 58 percent of Hispanic students graduated with unmanageable debt burdens.

The study said a decline in Pell grants, a move to paying for college with loans rather than savings, and inflation in tuition levels contribute to student's debt burdens. graphic





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