Massachusetts Student Loan Debt and Financial Aid Statistics

Federal student loan debt statistics in Massachusetts

  • Massachusetts residents owe a total of $30.8 billion in student loan debts
  • This is the 16th largest total debt of all 50 states plus Massachusetts DC and Puerto Rico
  • And the average debt per borrower of $34,146 is the 29th largest average student debt per borrower in the country – $3,641 below the national average
  • A total of 902,000 people in Massachusetts hold student debt making Massachusetts the state with the 14th highest number of borrowers in the country. 
  • This is only 12.91% of the population of Massachusetts – making Massachusetts the state with the 23rd most student loan borrowers per capita.
  • Of these borrowers, 63.10% are under the age of 35 – the highest in the country.

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

  • This makes Massachusetts the state with the 29th-largest average student loan debt 
  • The average student debt in Massachusetts is $34,146 – $3,641 below the national average of $37,721
  • Within this average, the amount owed by Massachusetts residents varies greatly:
    • 15.90% of borrowers owe less than $5k
    • 24.70% of borrowers owe between $20k and $40k – the highest proportion of people that owe this much of any state and one of only 4 states at 24% or higher (New Hampshire, Vermont, and Pennsylvania)
    • 2.20% of borrowers owe more than $200k

How much do Massachusetts residents borrow each year?

  • 43% of Massachusetts undergraduate students take out federal student loans – this is the 7th highest in the country
  • For those at 2-year colleges, 20.20% of students chose to take student loans – that’s 27th in the country
  • They were approved to get $4,653 per year on average
  • This is the 46th most per student at 2-year colleges of any state with only 5 states offering less to their students at 2-year colleges (Vermont, Idaho, Utah, Missouri, and Nebraska)
  • More students at 4-year schools take out student loans – 49.90% receive student loans
  • This is 12th most out of the 50 states and DC. 
  • These students are awarded $6,678 per year on average – the 33rd most in the country.

State-level financial aid for students in Massachusetts 

  • Massachusetts is the state that spends the 22nd most state funds on financial aid for students
  • In total, Massachusetts spends $146 million on state-level financial aid programs per year
  • This works out at around 0.28% of the gross state product (GSP)
  • While Massachusetts has the nation’s 22nd largest budget for student financial aid, it only ranks 45th as a percentage of GSP
  • This works out at around $342 per undergraduate student in the state – the 38th most of any state in the country
  • Just over $100.1 million is distributed to students in the form of grants meaning that none of this amount is repaid. 
  • The remaining $45.9 million is distributed between some other programs – some of which may be due to be repaid.