New report shows Kansas could be friendly to students with debt

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) – With graduation celebrations set for the weekend, a recent report shows which cities in Kansas – and the nation – are best for students with debt to settle down in.

With area college and high school seniors set to graduate the weekend of May 14 and student debt reaching a staggering 1.61 trillion, WalletHub.com says it released its report on the Cities with the Most & Least Student Debt in 2022.

To compare which cities were cheaper for students than others, WalletHub said it compared the nation’s largest cities against median student debt, median earnings of a bachelor’s degree holder, and the ratio of student debt to median earnings of bachelor’s degree holders. The last number shows what percentage of a degree holder’s earnings goes toward student debt.

In Northeast Kansas, cities seem to be more forgiving to students.

Emporia ranked in the 70th percentile with the lowest ratio of student debt to earnings. The report shows students in Emporia owe a Median Student Debt of 13,628 while the Median Earnings of a Bachelor’s Degree Holder is $ 40,578. The city boasted a 33.58% ratio of Student Debt to Median Earnings.

Junction City ranked in the 41st percentile with students owing a Median Student Debt of 18,806 and earning about $ 46,480. The city boasted a 40.45% ratio of Student Debt to Median Earnings of a Bachelor’s Degree Holder.

Topeka ranked in the 32nd percentile with a median debt of $ 19,639 owed by students who earn about $ 45,786 when they earn their degree. The capital city boasted a 42.89% ratio of Student Debt to Median Earnings of a Bachelor’s Degree Holder.

Manhattan ranked in the 20th percentile with a median student debt of 21,428 while those who hold a bachelor’s degree make about $ 45,469. The city boasted a ratio of Student Debt to Median Earnings of Bachelor’s Degree Holders of 47.13%.

Lawrence ranked in the 7th percentile with the highest ratio of student debt to earnings in the area. Students in Lawrence owe about $ 24,328 while those who hold bachelor’s degrees owe about $ 43,956. The city hosts a 55.35% ratio of Median Student Debt to Median Earnings of Bachelor’s Degree Holders.

The report indicates the most overleveraged cities include:

  1. Selma, Alabama
  2. Ypsilanti, Michigan
  3. Avon Park, Florida
  4. Cordele, Georgia
  5. Ridgeland, Mississippi
  6. McComb, Mississippi
  7. Orangeburg, South Carolina
  8. Hattiesburg, Mississippi
  9. Ashland, Kentucky
  10. Ithaca, New York

The report indicates the most underleveraged cities include:

  1. Vienna, Virginia
  2. Fremont, California
  3. Menlo Park, California
  4. Sammamish, Washington
  5. Milpitas, California
  6. Gilroy, California
  7. Delano, California
  8. Bronxville, New York
  9. Sunnyvale, California
  10. Coachella, California

The report also found that 93% of students are concerned about the economy while the number one post-graduation fear is not finding a job – 36% – followed by student loan debt – 30%. sIt also found that 20% of students think a college education is less important due to the COVID-19 pandemic and 52% think their school has not done enough to educate them about personal finance.

WalletHub said about 44% of students think having an emergency savings account is the most important financial lesson they have learned from the pandemic, followed by not going into debt – 23% – and having a steady job – 22%.

WalletHub also found the best credit cards for 2022 graduates include the Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card for Students with limited credit and a .edu email. the Petal 2 Visa Credit Card with limited credit and no .edu email required, and the Discover it Secured Credit Card with damaged credit.

For more information or to see where other cities fall, click HERE.

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