Student borrowing high in Northeast, says report

According to a new report published by the Project on Student Debt at the Institute for College Access & Success, despite more grants and scholarships being awarded, student borrowing is at its highest in the Northeast regions of the U.S.

Students in New Hampshire were borrowing the most money for school in the country, with student debt averaging at more than $31,000. The state of Maine ranked second, with debt averaging around $29,000. Other states in New England where student debt is high include Vermont, where loan debts are approximately $28,000 per student, and Rhode Island, where students take on an average of $23,000 in student loans.

"Student debt continues to rise, but debt levels vary tremendously from school to school and state to state," said Matthew Reed, author of the report, as quoted by the Providence Journal. "Some thought the jump would be even higher because of the economic downturn, but increased grant aid helped at least partially offset lower family incomes and higher tuitions while the Class of 2010 was in school."

According to the Department of Education, President Barack Obama's recent plans to help students repay their loans could help as many as 1.6 million borrowers. Under the new initiative, graduates will be able to reduce their monthly payments to 10 percent of their discretionary income, a decrease of 5 percent. Borrowers will also be forgiven any remaining debt after 20 years, instead of 25.

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