The average student loan debt of new U.S. college graduates increased 6% in 2007, to $20,098.

Researchers at the Project on Student Debt, a program established by the Institute for College Access and Success, Berkeley, Calif., have reported that finding in a summary of results from a survey of administrators at 1,300 4-year colleges.

Average debt for the class of 2007 was $18,482 at public colleges and $23,065 at private colleges, PSD researchers report.

PSD researchers says their own calculations suggest actual loan averages might be $1,800 greater than the college administrators’ responses suggest.

Debt averages ranged from $13,266 for Utah graduates to $26,208 for Iowa graduates.