Many students owe more than $100,000 when they graduate.
One third of students who graduated with a bachelor’s degree did not have any educational debt. The average debt level of bachelor’s degree recipients who borrowed for college is $20,000—about the price of a modest automobile. Moreover, the gap between the debt levels for students at public versus independent institutions is not very large: $17,700 versus $22,380, respectively. Students who attend for-profit colleges (approximately 11 percent of all students) account for nearly half of all defaults. Median debt for students at for-profit institutions is much higher, at $32,650.
Only wealthy families can afford to send their children to independent colleges.
Independent colleges enroll students of all financial backgrounds and at about the same percentages as public institutions for low- and middle-income students.
It is very difficult to receive financial aid at independent colleges.
A larger percentage of students at independent colleges receive financial aid than students at other types of institutions. Students enrolled at independent colleges are twice as likely to receive grants from their institutions as students enrolled at public institutions, and more than three times as likely to receive grants as students at for-profit institutions.
All students enrolled at independent colleges pay the same high tuition. (irrespective of family income).
On average, the actual amount students pay at private colleges is less than 60 percent of the total cost of tuition, fees, room and board. Students with lower family incomes pay a much lower percentage of the total costs.
The presentation includes a number of other factors to consider:
- Over the past decade, tuition at public institutions has grown faster than tuition at independent institutions;
- The graduation rates at independent colleges are much higher than those at public and for-profit institutions, even for low-income students; and
- Students at independent colleges graduate much sooner (about ten months earlier) than do their peers at public institutions and 48 months earlier than students at for-profit institutions—which means fewer years of paying tuition and a quicker start at earning a salary.
Other charts and graphs in the presentation include: