A new report shows average student loan debt continues to rise in New Jersey and across the nation.

Christopher Furlong, Getty Images

The report from the Institute for College Access and Success shows our 2012 college graduates averaged close to $30,000 in student loan debt, up from the 2011 grads' average of $26,600.

"When you're talking about New Jersey, we see the national average is just about $24,000, and we're about six grand more," said Justin Habler, Legislative and Government Affairs Committee chairman for New Jersey United Students.

Year-over-year debt increase among New Jersey grads was six percent, placing the Garden State eighth-highest in the nation, according to the Institute's report.

"There's just not enough funding, so tuition hikes continue to happen," said Habler. "We have tuition prices continuously rising."

The report says the highest-debt states for student loans remain concentrated in the Northeast and Midwest.