Indiana ranks 10th in the nation for the worst states when it comes to student indebtedness and earning opportunities, according to an analysis by WalletHub.
Analysts looked at student debt, unemployment, past-due loan balances and other factors to determine where student-loan borrowers fare best.
The ranking combines two factors: Indiana ranks 10th for student loan indebtedness and 30th for grant and student work opportunities, with an overall rank of 10th worst state in the U.S.
Neighboring Ohio ranks as the worst state for student loan debt. Illinois ranks 14th, Kentucky ranks 20th, and Michigan ranks 7th.
The number of students borrowing money has nearly doubled in the last decade from 23 million to 43 million borrowers.
According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the total outstanding college-loan balances disclosed on credit reports was $1.34 trillion at the end of the first quarter of 2017; that’s an increase of $34 billion since the end of 2016. And 11 percent of aggregate student loan debt was at least 90 days delinquent or in default in the same period.
The report says various factors have contributed to the rising cost of a higher education.
“For the overwhelming majority of academic institutions, spending in non-academic areas, such as college administration, athletics, and facilities should be accorded significantly less priority,” says Gyan Pradhan, professor of economics at Eastern Kentucky University. “Evidence suggests that massive growth in spending in such non-academic areas have contributed significantly to the inordinate growth in higher education spending.”
Experts say students and their parents should carefully consider cost when deciding where to attend.
“Students (and their parents) should shop around for the best value amongst the schools the student wants to attend,” says Josh Harris, lecturer and academic advisor at Clemson University College of Business. “There’s a lot to be said for students attending the school that ‘feels’ right. But students (and parents) should remember that feeling may not mean much if you’re swamped with debt afterwards and have little means to repay it.”
WATCH: how universities are addressing student debt with financial literacy programs