Recent college graduates may intuitively feel that they have it worse than their peers who graduated a decade ago. Now they can really see the difference.

According to The Institute for College Access & Success, 7 in 10 seniors (69%) who graduated from public and nonprofit colleges in 2014 had student loan debt. The average borrower had student loans totaling $26,860. Factoring in inflation over the years, that's not all that alarmning.

But, MarketWatch staffer Jillian Berman--who taps into a graphic from that shows the swing in debt from 2004 to 2014, points out that the student debt load could actually be higher than that. She writes:

Students at for-profit colleges, who typically take on more debt than their peers at nonprofit schools, are left out of the calculation. In addition, the report doesn’t cover students who take on debt but never graduate.

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