Our third annual ranking of state public higher education systems shows which states leave their students with excessive student loan debt.

Key points

  • We use new data from the U.S. Department of Education to rank each state on the student loan debt-to-earnings outcomes of their graduates.
  • We provide separate rankings for associate, bachelor’s, master’s, professional, and doctoral degrees.
  • There is huge variation in the riskiness of different credentials. Associate and bachelor’s degrees are generally low risk, but professional degrees in many states are extremely risky.