Washington State Student Loan Debt and Financial Aid Statistics

Washington State Student Loan Debt and Financial Aid Statistics

Federal student loan debt statistics in Washington

  • Washington residents owe a total of $28 billion in student loan debts
  • This is the 21st largest total debt of all 50 states plus Washington DC and Puerto Rico
  • And the average debt per borrower of $35,510 is the 20th largest average student debt per borrower in the country – $2,277 below the national average
  • A total of 788,000 people in Washington hold student debt making Washington the state with the  20th highest number of borrowers in the country. 
  • This is only 10.19% of the population of Washington – making Washington the state with the 46th most student loan borrowers per capita — similar to New Mexico, Nevada, and California.
  • Of these borrowers, 49.30% are under the age of 35 – the 44th highest in the country.

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

  • The average student loan debt for borrowers who are Washington residents is $39,165
  • This makes Washington the state with the 4th-largest average student loan debt 
  • The average student debt in Washington is $35,510 – $1,378 above the national average of $37,721
  • Within this average, the amount owed by Washington residents varies greatly:
    • 16.50% of borrowers owe less than $5k
    • 21.20% of borrowers owe between $20k and $40k
    • 2.30% of borrowers owe more than $200k

How much do Washington residents borrow each year?

  • 24.40% of Washington undergraduate students take out federal student loans – this is the 46th highest in the country
  • For those at 2-year colleges, 13.40% of students chose to take student loans – that’s 40th in the country
  • They were approved to get $5,549 per year on average
  • This is the 24th most per student at 2-year colleges of any state
  • More students at 4-year schools take out student loans – 25.10% receive student loans
  • This is 49th most out of the 50 states and DC. 
  • These students are awarded $6,214 per year on average – ranking 50th in the country.

State-level financial aid for students in Washington 

  • Washington is the state that spends the 11th most state funds on financial aid for students
  • In total, Washington spends $403.7 million on state-level financial aid programs per year
  • This works out at around 0.34% of the gross state product (GSP)
  • While Washington has the nation’s 11th largest budget for student financial aid, it only ranks 38th as a percentage of GSP
  • This works out at around $1,168 per undergraduate student in the state – the 14th most of any state in the country
  • Just over $373.3 million is distributed to students in the form of grants meaning that none of this amount is repaid. 
  • The remaining $30.4 million is distributed between some other programs – some of which may be due to be repaid.