(MoneyNews) -Student debt has reached a staggering new high — increasing $42 billion in the last quarter alone  even as average earnings of new college grads continues to erode, according to a New York Federal Reserve report.

Outstanding student loan debt now stands at $956 billion, and the percentage of loan
balances more than 90 days delinquent has increased to 11 percent.

According to data from Citi Research cited by The Fiscal Times, tuition at four-year public universities has increased by 72 percent since 2000, while the average earnings of workers aged 25 to 34 with bachelor’s degrees has slumped 14.7 percent during the same time period.

Student loan delinquency rates now exceed those of credit card, mortgage and all other types of consumer debt, the Fed report showed.

President Barack Obama has promoted easy availability of student loans, although critics charge that politically popular position entices some students who…

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