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Among Ohio's Public Colleges, Study Finds Kent State Graduates Had the Most Debt

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Kent State University

Graduates of Kent State University finished their degrees with more student loan debt than at any other public institution in Ohio last year. That’s according to a national study of debt from a non-profit research group that focuses on higher education.

The report from the Institute for College Access and Success shows 64 percent of Ohio undergrads completed their bachelor’s with some kind of student debt in 2016. At Kent State, 76 percent of graduates had student loans, which averaged more than $33,000.

T. David Garcia oversees admissions and financial aid for the school. He says it’s working to control costs and educate students about the perils of student loans. But he still believes in the value of a college degree.

“By earning a four-year degree, there is value at the end. You know, taking out a loan for buying a car, for instance, a car depreciates as soon as you drive it off a lot. ... I always say a college education appreciates.”

Otterbein University reported the highest student debt last year among graduates of private Ohio universities.