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Ohio has the most student debt in the country

Going to school in Ohio may be more expensive in the long run for students. 

Ohio has the most student debt in the country, according to a study conducted by WalletHub, a personal finance website, in August. Ohio is also among the top 10 states for the average amount of student debt and the amount of students in debt.

Two-thirds of students in the state have debt, and the average debt is $30,239 per student. Ohio University's annual tuition is about $25,000 for in-state students and about $34,000 for out-of-state students. 

Combined with the highest student debt in the country, Ohio holds a low home ownership rank for people from ages 25 to 34. Illinois, Washington, D.C., Vermont, Tennessee and Georgia also fall under the category of high student debt and low home ownership.

The percent of OU students who graduate with debt is on par with the state’s ratio of two-thirds, though the average debt is about $2,500 less than the state average. OU ranks 36th out of 48, with 48 being the university with the lowest student debt when comparing the mean of student debt among Ohio colleges and universities.

As student debt grows in the United States, so does the relationship between education levels and annual income. 

In the WalletHub study, analysts examined both student loan indebtedness and grant or student work opportunities in each of the 50 states and Washington, D.C., to determine relative amounts of student debt.

Although, in theory, a college degree increases someone’s income potential, the amount of debt students are left with after graduation makes it difficult to pay off and thus invest in other things, such as the housing market.

Post-college success depends on numerous factors, including where a graduate plants roots and how much debt they collected while earning their degree, WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez told The Cincinnati Enquirer

The unemployment rate for 25- to 34-year-olds in Ohio is is above the national average and among the worst in the country at 6 percent, according to the study. 

Additionally, underemployment directly affects about one-tenth of Ohio’s population, meaning that those people work but do not make enough money to pay off various expenses. 

Student loan borrowers generally fare better in strong economical states such as California, where there are low college-debt-to-income ratios, according to WalletHub.

Although the study looks at state averages of student loan debt, examining the average debt of individual institutions coupled with the state’s economy is more telling to graduates’ income potential, as it is more specialized to specific colleges and universities’ financial situations.


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