Debt to Die With

With all this talk about rankings and all the fire that for-profit schools have come under recently, Gawker decided to try and rank the ‘real’ colleges whose students have amassed the most debt.  They took total debt, which made bigger schools come out on top, giving NYU a not-so-surprising win.

But what about Wesleyan? What about debt per student, which is probably a better measure in the first place? We’ve always know that Wesleyan is an expensive place to go to, with one of the highest tuitions and comprehensive costs in the nation, but let’s take a look at the debt burden it places on the students.  The “Median Federal Debt for Those Entering Repayment” for Wesleyan was $11,384.

Estimated Repayment Rates by Institution -- FY 2009 Wesleyan and Comparable Institutions

Yes, Wesleyan’s $11,384 median looks meager compared to NYU’s behemoth of $28,649 (which isn’t even the highest).  But what about comparable institutions? Our Little Three ‘frenemies’ Williams and Amherst have nearly identical medians at about $7,700 (are they even distinguishable schools anymore?), over $3,500 less than us.  Nearby Connecticut College, however, has a similar if higher load.  Vassar, who we seem to be compared to a lot, is also essentially similar to us in Median Federal Debt.  Our “Estimated Repayment Rate” is lower than any of our peers though.

The source information comes from the US Department of Education’s ED.gov, which has other useful information.  Click here for the relevant statistics directly from them.  Click here for Gawker’s Top Ten Universities for Student Debt.

Sorry for the awfully Argus-y post.

6 thoughts on “Debt to Die With

  1. johnwesley

    It’s interesting, college ranking porno (I say, bring more of it) but, without more data it is sort of misleading to assume that average debt per student equals an average student’s debt.

    For example, how does a school with a “no-loan” financial aid policy (cough, Amherst) have ANY total debt? Answer: lot’s of middle-class students getting private loans to supplement what Amherst considers 100% need.

  2. johnwesley

    It’s interesting, college ranking porno (I say, bring more of it) but, without more data it is sort of misleading to assume that average debt per student equals an average student’s debt.

    For example, how does a school with a “no-loan” financial aid policy (cough, Amherst) have ANY total debt? Answer: lot’s of middle-class students getting private loans to supplement what Amherst considers 100% need.

  3. anon

    No offense, but please stop posting things like this. Put them in some money-related link on the side.

  4. anon

    No offense, but please stop posting things like this. Put them in some money-related link on the side.

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