Californians have the most federal student loan debt of any state in the nation, and where Californians decide to go to college or university may only be making it worse.

Using the latest data from Peterson’s, an educational services company, The Institute for College Access & Success analyzed the student debt of those who graduated from four-year higher education institutions in 2020. Only public and private nonprofit colleges were included in the analysis.

TICAS found the state averages for debt at graduation for the class of 2020 ranged from $18,350 to $39,950. In California, about 46% of graduates finished school with student debt. The average debt among graduates was $21,125.

Graduates at these five California public institutions finished school with the highest average amount of debt, according to TICAS:

InstitutionAverage Debt of Graduates
California State University Maritime Academy $26,147
California State University-San Marcos$26,018
Humboldt State University$23,330
California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo$22,933
UC Santa Cruz$21,189

On the other end of the list is CSU Chico, the four-year school with the lowest average debt at $5,738 per graduate.

Below are the five private institutions that had the highest average debt among graduates in 2020:

Institution Average Debt of Graduates
University of La Verne$51,282
Mills College$49,772
Azusa Pacific University$49,353
Marymount California University$42,018
San Francisco Conservatory of Music$42,000

Vanguard University of Southern California had the lowest average debt among private, non-profit institutions at $10,936.

In terms of private debt, meaning a borrower received funds from a source other than the federal government, the average graduate owes $26,693. Only about 5% of California graduates in 2020 had private student loan debt.

Graduates from these five public institutions had the highest private debt in California:

InstitutionAverage Debt of Graduates
California State University Maritime Academy $37,959
UC Berkeley$37,775
UC San Diego$30,266
UC Santa Cruz$29,809

Graduates from these five private, non-profit institutions had the highest average private debt:

Institution Average Debt of Graduates
San Francisco Art Institute$91,183
Pomona College$79,928
Scripps College$76,406
Woodbury University$61,450
Dominican University of California$47,176

Four private institutions reported that their graduates had no private debt: Thomas Aquinas College, Soka University of America, Santa Clara University, and the University of Saint Katherine.

Reviewing data from the Federal Student Aid office, the Education Data Initiative found California as a whole has the most federal student loan debt at $141.8 billion. That equates to almost 1% of the total national debt of $1.6 trillion.

There are over 3.8 million student borrowers living in California, according to the Education Data Initiative. Among them, 16% owe less than $5,000 while another 20% owe between $20,000 and $40,000.

If the Biden administration were to approve a debt relief plan of $10,000 per borrower, that would mean roughly 611,800 Californians could have their entire debt erased and nearly 765,000 could have between one-quarter and one-half of their debt forgiven.

These statistics don’t take into account recent actions by the Biden administration that have wiped out about $25 billion in federal student debt for some 1.3 million borrowers.

Earlier this month, President Biden indicated he is still considering federal student debt relief. Previous reports say he is expected to make a decision within the next two months. Details on the exact plan are limited, but multiple sources have confirmed to The Hill that Biden was considering expunging at least $10,000 per borrower.