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Hawaii student debt second-lowest in the U.S.

By Erika Engle

LAST UPDATED: 02:17 a.m. HST, Aug 23, 2013

The average student debt in Hawaii is the second-lowest in the nation, according to a study by the NerdScholar unit of personal finance research company NerdWallet.

Hawaii ranks No. 1 as best state for student debt, however, as the Aloha State has the lowest percentage of students graduating with debt, at 38 percent.

NerdScholar attributed the low percentage to the low tuition costs offered by the University of Hawaii system, whose campuses accept low-income students. Some 40 percent of students at the UH Hilo campus in the 2010-2011 academic year were Pell Grant recipients, reflecting a commitment to students at all income levels, researchers said.

The average Hawaii student debt is $17,447, compared to students in Utah with an average of $17,227, but there, 45 percent of students graduate still owing money, NerdScholar found.

Hawaii’s overall student debt score was 0.72, compared with 7.78 in Utah, and compared to 91.11 in New Hampshire, which was declared the worst U.S. state for student debt. There, 75 percent of students graduate in debt, with an average amount of $32,440.

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awahana wrote:
I find this very hard to believe, with Punahou, Iolani, and all the other private schools we have here and their high enrollment. And don't forget UHM and their outrageous tuition, for a state college.
on August 21,2013 | 09:42AM
palani wrote:
The statistics only refer to college debt, and UH, despite its annual tuition increases well in excess of inflation, is still more affordable than many of its mainland peer institutions. It would be interesting to see the numbers if private secondary education were included in a separate category, however.
on August 21,2013 | 10:27AM
RetiredWorking wrote:
IRT awahana's statement regarding UHM's outrageous tuition.....no so. Altho it is increasing every year, it is still reasonable, compared to outrageous tuition at Remington, Phoenix, Chaminade and HPU. Check them out.
on August 21,2013 | 03:28PM
RetiredWorking wrote:
IRT awahana, only college tuition. It is astounding that kindergarteners @ Punahou and Iolani Schools pay more in tuition than UH-Manoa, maybe even Chaminade and HPY. My son grad from UH this past May. His student debt is average. He starts work next month making $52,000/year. No kids, no gf, low-maintenance lifestyle, paid-for compact car, no debt besides student loan. My 30-something fellow married worker/mother of three grad from U of Phoenix with a $60K student loan @ 6.8% interest. She makes about $34,000 annually.
on August 21,2013 | 03:24PM
houdini wrote:
Hello rw ypur info is so invaluable. Thank you for telling us what you know.
on August 22,2013 | 03:30AM
RetiredWorking wrote:
Everyone should share what they know. I am grateful when I can learn from other people's mistakes AND successes.
on August 22,2013 | 10:18AM
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