AUGUSTA, Maine — A Maine congressman says his state ranks second in the highest average amount of debt — nearly $30,000 — carried by each graduating student.
Democratic Rep. Mike Michaud says the $29,983 average debt in Maine is topped only by New Hampshire, at $31,048. Vermont graduates are also among those with the biggest average debt loads, at $28,391.
The figures are from a report called Student Debt and the Class of 2010, an initiative of the independent, nonprofit Institute for College Access and Success.
In response, Michaud introduced a bill called the Student Loan Default Prevention Act, which would allow the Finance Authority of Maine to provide guidance to more than 20,000 Maine students annually on their federal loan portfolio. State-based agencies like FAME are precluded from working with students on new federal loans.