The amount of student loan debt in America will exceed $1 trillion this year, and is already greater than the total for credit card debt for the first time ever. On Wednesday, President Obama announced that he was capping the maximum required payment on student loans at 10% of a borrower's income, down from the current 15%, and making it easier for millions of former students to consolidate their loans at lower interest rates.
College graduates badly need the help -- in some places far more than others. While students in some states rack up seemingly manageable student loan debts (Utah, for example, with an average of $12,860), in others, such as New Hampshire, they graduate owing closer to $30,000.
The 10 states with the worst levels of student debt have a number of things in common. Largely in the Northeast, they have relatively high median incomes, and expensive schools. Many also have highly educated populations, ranking in the top half of states for percentages of adults with bachelor's degrees.
Data for this analysis was drawn from an October 2010 report published by the Project on Student Debt, an initiative of the Institute for College Access & Success, and from Census Bureau and Department of Education reports.
These are the 10 states where students have the most debt.
The 10 States Where Graduates Have the Worst Student Debts