I recently had a student ask me how much the average graduate from the College has in student loan indebtedness. In reviewing the student loan page, I saw that our stated figure came from the Common Data Set. For those that aren’t data nerds like I, the CDS is a group of facts and figures reported to various government agencies. I like reviewing it to dispel bad facts, for example the female to male ratio at the College is 1.7 to 1, not 100 to 1 or whatever random number you’ve heard.
After telling the student about our page, I realised that the 2012-2013 CDS is in the process of being released. I checked the Financial Aid section and it included the most recent average loan indebtedness figures for students graduating from July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2012. I was surprised by two figures: H4: 47.8% of graduates had borrowed a student loan and H5a: $30,266 was the average amount of federal loan that those students had borrowed. Here’s what’s surprising to me.
47.8% of graduates had loan. The amazing part of this, to me, is the inverse: 52.2% of students graduate without student loan debt! Slightly over half of the students that crossed the Cistern last year did so without a pending loan payment. How do these students do this?
$30,266 average federal student loans borrowed. Of the remaining half of students, the average amount borrowed will require 10 years of $348 monthly payments. So how will this affect students in the first decade of their “adult life”? Will they take jobs because of the money instead of the career trajectory, will they delay buying a house, or getting married?
Hopefully in a future post I can list some ideas that we toss around our office for ways a student can keep student loan indebtedness down, hopefully down to zero. In the meantime, students or recent alumi please post what you did to borrow less or nothing.