Banking & Finance, Higher Education, and Human Resources

Grand Rapids ranks in top 5 percent of cities with 'most student debt'

May 10, 2017
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Grand Rapids is in the 95th percentile of cities with the most post-college debt, according to a new report.

The report, “Cities with the Most & Least Student Debt,” by WalletHub, a personal finance website, shows that Grand Rapids ranks near the top of a list of 2,000 cities with high student debt-to-income ratios.

Other West Michigan communities in the ranking include Holland, in the 49th percentile, Kalamazoo, in the 94th percentile, and Muskegon, in the 53rd percentile.

Methodology

In order to determine the cities where residents are saddled with the most student loan debt, WalletHub’s analysts compared the median student loan balance to the median earnings of adults ages 25 and older who have bachelor’s degrees.

Student debt in Grand Rapids

Median student loan balance: $20,029

Median earnings of bachelor’s degree holders: $37,130

Ratio of student debt to median earnings of bachelor’s degree holders: 53.94 percent (95th percentile)

Student debt in Holland

Median student loan balance: $15,468

Median earnings of bachelor’s degree holders: $42,579

Ratio of student debt to median earnings of bachelor’s degree holders: 36 percent (49th percentile)

Student debt in Kalamazoo

Median student loan balance: $19,539

Median earnings of bachelor’s degree holders: $36,972

Ratio of student debt to median earnings of bachelor’s degree holders: 53 percent (94th percentile)

Student debt in Muskegon

Median student loan balance: $13,533

Median earnings of bachelor’s degree holders: $36,287

Ratio of student debt to median earnings of bachelor’s degree holders: 37 percent (53rd percentile)

Other Michigan ratings

Ypsilanti: 99th percentile

Hamtramck: 99th percentile

Ann Arbor: 99th percentile

Lansing: 96th percentile

Detroit: 82nd percentile

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