The latest data on student loan debt show that Maine continues to have one of the highest student loan burdens for undergraduates – seventh in the nation, according to the Project on Student Debt.

Graduating seniors from Maine’s public and private nonprofit colleges in 2013 had an average $29,934 in debt, higher than the national average of $28,400.

Maine also ranked seventh last year, with graduates in 2012 carrying an average student loan debt of $29,352.

Nationwide, the average student loan debt varies widely, from less than $2,500 to more than $71,000 in 2013, according to the report released Thursday. In general the high-debt states are clustered in the Northeast and Midwest, with low-debt states mainly in the West and South.

Student loan debt has been identified as a national crisis by many lawmakers and higher-education groups who say the skyrocketing costs of college – and subsequent debt – have impacts on the economy far beyond students’ ability to repay the loans. Debt-burdened college graduates hold back on many purchases, from eating out to buying a home, or have poor credit and can’t qualify for loans.

At the same time, far more students are borrowing money to pay for college. From 2004 through 2012, aggregate student loan debt almost tripled to more than $1 trillion, exceeding all other forms of debt except mortgages.

One Maine school was on the top 20 list of high-debt public colleges nationwide, according to the report.

Graduates from the University of Maine, the flagship campus for the seven-campus public university system in Maine, had an average student loan debt of $34,389, according to the report. The report did not rank the top 20 list.

Not all UMaine campuses reported their graduates’ student loan debt. The ones that did included UMaine Farmington at $30,216, and UMaine Presque Isle at $20,919. Among Maine private nonprofit colleges, Husson University graduates had an average $31,466 student loan debt, and Bowdoin College graduates had $21,292.

No other Maine colleges, public or private, appeared on either the 20 high-debt or 20 low-debt colleges.

A second report released Thursday, by the College Board, found that borrowing has slowed for undergraduate students still in school, indicating that the debt loads for graduates will also decrease in a few years.

Borrowing per student has declined by 10 percent over the last three years, according to the Trends in Student Aid report released Thursday. “However, the recent decline in annual borrowing is not yet reflected in the debt levels of college graduates,” the report said.

The College Board report, which also tracks trends in higher education tuition, found that colleges’ sticker prices continue to rise, but more slowly than in recent years. The pace still rises faster than inflation, the report notes.

“This year’s Trends reports make it clear that some of the more visible trends of recent years have slowed or turned around,” said Sandy Baum, a co-author on the reports and a research professor of education policy at George Washington University Graduate School of Human Development.

According to the report, the average tuition sticker price, or published price, for full-time, in-state students at a public four-year college increased 2.9 percent this year, rising from $8,885 in 2013-14, to $9,139 in 2014-15.

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