When I saw this story, I immediately had to know where Colorado was ranked. I was surprised to see it was only 41st in student debt in the country. I apparently was assuming that all college students there were like my nephew, Anthony.

He and his parents are living under the soul-crushing burden of a student loan debt the size of which could buy a home in many cities. A home, by the way, they could never afford to purchase. The specter of what they collectively owe has already led to bankruptcy for his parents and will likely follow them to the grave and Anthony through a significant portion of his adult life.

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Student loan debt has become such a crisis in this country that it has moved into the national spotlight. In 2020 and 2021 pauses on debt collection and payments were part of various COVID pandemic relief responses. That relief is planned to end in January 2022.

According to WalletHub, as of mid-way through 2021, the total outstanding student debt sat at $1.59 trillion (with a capital T)! "That comes out to an average of $37,000 for each of the 42.9 million borrowers," WalletHub said.

Many other countries on our planet offer free higher education, including Germany, France, Denmark, and Sweden, among others. Students in England still pay for college, but at a much lower rate than many do in the U.S.

Unfortunately, here in South Dakota, we have one of the highest proportion of students with debt in the country.

They arrived at this conclusion by considering data in various categories like the share of students with debt, students in loan default status, students enrolled in income-driven repayment plans, unemployment and underemployment rates, student jobs, paid internships, and more.

MORE: South Dakota Has Some of the Harshest Penalties for Defaulting on Student Loans

The top 10 states with the most student debt in 2021:

  1. West Virginia
  2. New Hampshire
  3. Pennsylvania
  4. South Dakota
  5. Mississippi
  6. North Dakota
  7. Delaware
  8. Michigan
  9. Wisconsin
  10. Ohio

You can see the complete report at WalletHub.

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