Illinois Student Loan Debt and Financial Aid Statistics

Federal student loan debt statistics in Illinois

  • Illinois residents owe a total of $61.6 billion in student loan debts
  • This is the 8th largest total debt of all 50 states plus Washington DC and Puerto Rico — just behind Ohio and ahead of Michigan
  • And the average debt per borrower of $37,757 is the 7th largest average student debt per borrower in the country – only $30 below the national average
  • A total of 1.631 million people in Illinois hold student debt making Illinois the state with the eighth-highest number of borrowers in the country. 
  • However, this is only 12.88% of the population of Illinois – placing Illinois in 25th position when it comes to the percentage of student loan borrowers per capita.
  • Of these borrowers, 54.50% are under the age of 35 – this is the 17th most borrowers under the age of 50 in all the states.

How much student loan debt does the average Illinois resident have?

  • The average student loan debt for borrowers who are Illinois residents is $37,757
  • This makes Illinois the state with the 7th-largest average student loan debt 
  • The average student debt in Illinois is almost exactly the national average of $37,787
  • Within this average, the amount owed by Illinois residents varies greatly:
    • 15.60% of borrowers owe less than $5k
    • 21.80% of borrowers owe between $20k and $40k
    • 2.60% of borrowers owe more than $200k
  • Illinois has the 8th highest percentage of borrowers that owe over $200,000 in the country

How much do Illinois residents borrow each year?

  • 31.40% of Illinois undergraduate students take out federal student loans – this is the 39th in the country
  • For those at 2-year colleges, only 8.70% of students chose to take student loans – that’s 48th in the country
  • They were approved to get $4,952 per year on average
  • This is the 38th most per student at 2-year colleges of any state
  • Even more students at 4-year schools take out student loans where 52.70% receive student loans — just less than Iowa
  • This is 5th most out of the 50 states and DC. 
  • These students are awarded $6,931 per year on average – ranking 17th in the country.

State-level financial aid for students in Illinois 

  • Illinois is the state that spends the 12th most state funds on financial aid for students
  • In total, Illinois spends $397.8 million on state-level financial aid programs per year
  • This works out at around 0.48% of the gross state product (GSP)
  • While Illinois has the nation’s 12th largest budget for student financial aid, it only ranks 17th as a percentage of GSP
  • This works out at around $1,131 per undergraduate student in the state – the 16th most of any state in the country
  • Just over $392.3 million is distributed to students in the form of grants meaning that none of this amount is repaid. 
  • The remaining $5.5 million is distributed between some other programs – some of which may be due to be repaid.