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No Student Loans, No Problem! College Works Best When It’s Free

Despite hand wringing and promises that the cost of college will go down, student debt continues to grow. All told, Americans now owe $1.78 trillion in student debt.

It’s a national issue, but some states are handling it better than others. Recently, WalletHub conducted a state-by-state analysis (along with the District of Columbia) of how much student debt is owed and how much pain the people holding it are in based on data like unemployment and income rates. 

Location and economic conditions make a difference. In total, WalletHub found, the amount of debt and the struggle for people holding it were two-times as bad in the worst state (Pennsylvania) as in the best state (Utah). 

The good news for Californians is that the “Golden State” scores extremely well, ranking among the top five best states overall (#47 out of 51 – with lower being better), as well as for the amount of debt held (#49) and for the proportion of students with debt (#46). We’re doing something right.

But we could still be doing better. Student debt can be a crushing weight and the need to take on loans keeps many people out of college entirely.  

That’s why California created Calbright, a free online community college – because studies show that when college is free, more people enroll. Cost isn’t the only barrier to accessibility, but it’s a big one.

When more people can go to college, more people can fully participate in the economy – and when more people can fully participate in the economy, the economy grows for everyone

California leads the nation in access to excellent and affordable higher education, and our commitment at Calbright is to have a fully accessible college where no one has to go into debt to better their career.

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