50-50 Highlights: Colleges with Highest Percentage of Freshman with Non-Federal Loans

golden graduate figure holding on to debtIn case you’ve been in a coma and haven’t heard, there is a student loan crisis. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the total student loan debt of $870 billion exceeds that of consumer credit card debt. Apparently, students are borrowing too much to pay for college. Or maybe they’re not borrowing too much, they just don’t have jobs that will allow them to make their loan payments.

Whatever the exact situation, the fact is that individual students have the ability to decide how much money to borrow. They also have the ability to decide what kind of money to borrow. This means that they need to understand the difference between private and federal loans.

Actually, in most cases they don’t really to know much more than that they shouldn’t be taking out private loans. Given that virtually everyone qualifies for unsubsidized  Federal Direct loans which have a maximum accumulated limit of $31,000, no one should be borrowing more than that. If you need to borrow more than that, you probably shouldn’t be going to the school.

Private loans are going to have higher interest rates and may require repayment to start while still attending school. They generally don’t offer forbearance or deferment options. Nor can students take advantage of consolidation programs, extended repayment plans, or government repayment programs that cap monthly payments based on your income.

While it’s certainly possible to find yourself with financial problems taking out federal loans, taking out private loans makes it much more likely. The simple solution is to apply to schools where you won’t need to take out a private loan. And yes, at some schools students are more likely to have private loans than at others.

The Integrated Post-Secondary Education Data System (IPEDS) reports the percentage of freshman who take out non-federal loans and the average amount. Non-federal loans can include institutional loans as well as private loans. Unfortunately, it’s not possible to tell what percentage of loans are private versus institution. Furthermore, it’s possible that institutional loans offer better terms than federal loans but we just don’t know.

If you’re considering a school with a high percentage of students with non-federal loans, be sure to take a close look at the school’s financial aid policies. Don’t put yourself in a situation where the only way you can attend college is by taking out a private loan.

The table below lists the 97 50-50 schools where 15% or more of freshman have non-federal loans along with the average loan amount. When considering the amounts, remember even a relatively low amount such as $3,000 will add $12,000 in debt over four years. And chances are that’s on top of existing federal loans.

Two-thirds of the schools on the list have an average non-federal loan amount of $10,000 or greater. This includes 11 public institutions. Thirteen of the schools have 25% or more of freshman receiving non-federal loans including one public school.

As usual, the five-year graduation rate is used for public institutions and the four-year rate for private schools.

50-50 Colleges with Highest Percentage of
Freshman with Non-Federal Loans

4/5 yr
% Freshman Receiving Non-Federal Student LoansAvg Amount of Non-Federal Student Loans
for Freshman
University of St ThomasPrivateMN606563614374
Dordt CollegePrivateIA134554514053
Juniata CollegePrivatePA155572484165
Grove City CollegePrivatePA2438773910862
Loyola University MarylandPrivateMD395179394427
Loyola Marymount UniversityPrivateCA593567294352
University of New EnglandPrivateME2156492815415
Yeshiva UniversityPrivateNY278260282857
Albany College of Pharmacy and Health SciencesPrivateNY1059722717866
Clarke UniversityPrivateIA877592612671
Hanover CollegePrivateIN115868265253
Winona State UniversityPublicMN735451268781
Saint Francis UniversityPrivatePA1547572514180
Maine Maritime AcademyPublicME979722414871
North Central CollegePrivateIL259251244970
Saint Joseph's College of MainePrivateME895492413576
Whittier CollegePrivateCA162363245825
Gwynedd Mercy UniversityPrivatePA1851502315544
Keene State CollegePublicNH453862239952
Merrimack CollegePrivateMA2604542316811
Trinity UniversityPrivateTX211172237322
University of the SciencesPrivatePA1814672316247
Arcadia UniversityPrivatePA2260532215238
Concordia College at MoorheadPrivateMN2488622211552
DeSales UniversityPrivatePA1836632214280
Northwestern CollegePrivateIA113353223700
The College of Saint ScholasticaPrivateMN2423592211956
Castleton State CollegePublicVT1854492112293
Illinois Wesleyan UniversityPrivateIL200172216550
Westmont CollegePrivateCA129872217153
La Salle UniversityPrivatePA3542552015092
Lancaster Bible CollegePrivatePA81454209973
Lebanon Valley CollegePrivatePA1648682014850
Marywood UniversityPrivatePA2004542012586
Misericordia UniversityPrivatePA1790642013844
Saint Johns UniversityPrivateMN1850712011144
Simpson CollegePrivateIA148655207981
Sweet Briar CollegePrivateVA68054206286
Wells CollegePrivateNY524562010549
Western New England UniversityPrivateMA2498522016079
Westminster CollegePrivatePA1254632012620
Assumption CollegePrivateMA2022701913082
Baldwin Wallace UniversityPrivateOH300355198120
Clarkson UniversityPrivateNY3084611912343
Duquesne UniversityPrivatePA5740661913935
Salve Regina UniversityPrivateRI1876611916900
The Richard Stockton College of New JerseyPublicNJ6953611912744
Baylor UniversityPrivateTX13059571818386
Bethel UniversityPrivateMN2614631812840
Bridgewater State UniversityPublicMA803452187697
Emmanuel CollegePrivateMA1857511814837
Endicott CollegePrivateMA2430651815563
Kutztown University of PennsylvaniaPublicPA8279511811194
Rider UniversityPrivateNJ3791551817823
Shippensburg University of PennsylvaniaPublicPA6219531810377
University of HartfordPrivateCT4495511817552
Wentworth Institute of TechnologyPrivateMA3634501817074
Agnes Scott CollegePrivateGA89766177761
Coe CollegePrivateIA135161175431
College of Saint BenedictPrivateMN2015751712630
East Stroudsburg University of PennsylvaniaPublicPA5495541712302
King's CollegePrivatePA1925611714555
Le Moyne CollegePrivateNY2401631715058
Lycoming CollegePrivatePA1290541712478
Messiah CollegePrivatePA2701711711636
Moravian CollegePrivatePA1418701712493
Roanoke CollegePrivateVA196458179499
Springfield CollegePrivateMA2128581714011
Pennsylvania State University-Penn State AltoonaPublicPA3645671613184
Plymouth State UniversityPublicNH3795541612915
Roger Williams UniversityPrivateRI3875501619385
Saint Anselm CollegePrivateNH1878711617243
Seton Hall UniversityPrivateNJ5380501619285
Slippery Rock University of PennsylvaniaPublicPA705760169675
The University of the ArtsPrivatePA1860571619284
University of MainePublicME7922511610447
University of New Hampshire at ManchesterPublicNH59956167689
University of San DiegoPrivateCA548665167898
Adelphi UniversityPrivateNY4531531512785
Bryant UniversityPrivateRI3200781518042
Centenary CollegePrivateNJ1610561516629
Central CollegePrivateIA1340621510500
Dean CollegePrivateMA1076621516128
Eastern UniversityPrivatePA2076491513085
Gustavus Adolphus CollegePrivateMN2423811511719
Hartwick CollegePrivateNY1579541514158
Houghton CollegePrivateNY1023651510402
Huntington UniversityPrivateIN96057158926
Keiser University-Ft LauderdalePrivateFL1200759155514
Mount St Mary's CollegePrivateCA2092521510288
Ohio Northern UniversityPrivateOH2194531513231
Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Erie-Behrend CollegePublicPA3683661511913
Quinnipiac UniversityPrivateCT6307721522375
Stonehill CollegePrivateMA245882159389
The College of Saint RosePrivateNY2664531514225
University of New Hampshire-Main CampusPublicNH12063781514333
University of Wisconsin-StoutPublicWI682049157229

Leave a Reply