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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.

For each state, the average student loan debt per graduate was calculated by dividing the total amount of student loan debt by the number of residents with a bachelor’s degree or higher. States were ranked by the resulting statistic.

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