POLITICS: Debt owed by SC college graduates rising

Posted by ANDREW SHAIN on December 29, 2013 

Students take a chemistry class taught by Amy Taylor Perry during summer school at the University of South Carolina.

TRACY GLANTZ — tglantz@thestate.com Buy Photo

— The average debt for S.C. college graduates was $27,416 in 2012, according to an recent analysis of federal data compiled for the Institute for College Access & Success, a California-based research group.

That is almost $2,000 less than the national average. Still, some of the other tuition-debt data is sobering for S.C. students seeking diplomas. The typical Palmetto State grad carried $6,300 more in debt after getting a diploma last year than their 2008 counterparts

Since 2008, the college debt of S.C. graduates has grown at a faster pace than the national average.

S.C. schools say they work to educate students about debt while they are on campus. Talk about tuition loans goes along with information about credit cards at student orientations.

USC has opened a student financial literacy office, and the school also is working with students to keep up their grades so they can retain their state lottery scholarships, which lower their tuition bills.

Coastal Carolina University, which has one of the nation’s highest average debt rates, plans to ease debt loads by rewarding graduates who complete their degrees in three years with a check.

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