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The student loan statistics used in this analysis are from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York Household Debt Statistics report. Median earnings for college graduates are from the U.S. Census Bureau 2017 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates. Public higher education funding statistics are from the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association 2018 State Higher Education Finance report.

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Across the entire U.S., the median earnings for all bachelor’s degree holders is $52,484. However, the average debt per college graduate in the U.S. is $19,593 or 37 percent of annual earnings.The average debt per graduate varies widely by state, from a high of $31,489 in Mississippi to a low of $12,375 in Hawaii. States with the most debt per graduate are concentrated in the South.In the states with the most debt per graduate, delinquency rates also tend to skew higher. There’s a significant positive relationship between average student loan debt and delinquency rate.State and local support for higher education also varies widely by state, ranging from a high of $17,704 per student in Alaska to a low of $3,065 per student in New Hampshire. Students in states with more public support for higher education tend to carry less debt.

Mickey Jean Lucas, 60, died unexpectedly Saturday, November 16, 2019 at North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo. She was born in Dallas, Te…