When I saw this story, I immediately had to know where Colorado was ranked. I was surprised to see it was only 41st in student debt in the country. I apparently was assuming that all college students there were like my nephew, Anthony.

He and his parents are living under the soul-crushing burden of a student loan debt the size of which could buy a home in many cities. A home, by the way, they could never afford to purchase. The specter of what they collectively owe has already led to bankruptcy for his parents and will likely follow them to the grave and Anthony through a significant portion of his adult life.

Student loan debt has become such a crisis in this country that it has moved into the national spotlight for the upcoming 2020 election. Some candidates are calling for debt cancellation, others are suggesting refinancing options, free community college, higher grants, and other alternatives.

And it is really no surprise. According to the latest WalletHub study on student debt, almost 11 percent of all student loans in the country are in default right now! The last time it was measured at the end of 2018, student debt in this country was over $1.49 trillion (with a capital T)!

Many other countries on our planet offer free higher education, including Germany, France, Denmark, and Sweden, among others. Students in England still pay for college, but at a much lower rate than many do in the U.S.

Unfortunately, here in South Dakota, we have the highest proportion of students with debt in the country.

They arrived at this conclusion by considering data in various categories like the share of students with debt, students in loan default status, students enrolled in income-driven repayment plans, unemployment and underemployment rates, student jobs, paid internships, and more.

The top 10 states with the most student debt:

  1. South Dakota
  2. Pennsylvania
  3. West Virginia
  4. New Hampshire
  5. Iowa
  6. Minnesota
  7. Mississippi
  8. Ohio
  9. Michigan
  10. Rhode Island

You can see the complete report at WalletHub.

Source: WalletHub