North Carolina Student Loan Debt and Financial Aid Statistics

Federal student loan debt statistics in North Carolina

  • North Carolina residents owe a total of $49.2 billion in student loan debts
  • This is the 10th largest total debt of all 50 states plus Washington DC and Puerto Rico
  • And the average debt per borrower of $37,721 is the 8th largest average student debt per borrower in the country – $66 below the national average
  • A total of 1.304 million people in North Carolina hold student debt making North Carolina the state with the  10th highest number of borrowers in the country. 
  • This is only 12.36% of the population of North Carolina – making North Carolina the state with the 33rd most student loan borrowers per capita.
  • Of these borrowers, 52.30% are under the age of 35.

How much student loan debt does the average North Carolina resident have?

  • The average student loan debt for borrowers who are North Carolina residents is $37,721
  • This makes North Carolina the state with the 8th-largest average student loan debt 
  • The average student debt in North Carolina is almost exactly the national average of $37,721
  • Within this average, the amount owed by North Carolina residents varies greatly:
    • 14.40% of borrowers owe less than $5k
    • 23.00% of borrowers owe between $20k and $40k
    • 2.10% of borrowers owe more than $200k

How much do North Carolina residents borrow each year?

  • 34.50% of North Carolina undergraduate students take out federal student loans – this is the 33rd highest in the country
  • For those at 2-year colleges, 12.80% of students chose to take student loans – that’s 42nd in the country
  • They were approved to get $6,264 per year on average
  • This is the 7th most per student at 2-year colleges of any state
  • More students at 4-year schools take out student loans – 52.00% receive student loans
  • This is 7th most out of the 50 states and DC. 
  • These students are awarded $6,740 per year on average – ranking 29th in the country.

State-level financial aid for students in North Carolina 

  • North Carolina is the state that spends the 13th most state funds on financial aid for students
  • In total, North Carolina spends $391.5 million on state-level financial aid programs per year
  • This works out at around 0.72% of the gross state product (GSP)
  • While North Carolina has the nation’s 13th largest budget for student financial aid, it only ranks 5th as a percentage of GSP
  • Only Wyoming, Mississippi, Hawaii, and New Mexico spend a larger percentage of GSP on student financial aid than North Carolina
  • This works out at around $1,180 per undergraduate student in the state – the 12th most of any state in the country
  • Just over $313.7 million is distributed to students in the form of grants meaning that none of this amount is repaid. 
  • The remaining $77.8 million is distributed between some other programs – some of which may be due to be repaid.