The Top 10 Colleges for Student Debt: Is Yours One of Them?

Attending college is not cheap. In fact, to put it bluntly, it’s super freaking expensive. According to US News & World Report, 68% of new grads in 2011 were saddled with debt, and the average amount per student was $26,220. Ouch. Starting out in the world almost thirty grand in the hole would stack the odds against anyone.

But forget about the average for a minute, because some students carry an even heavier post-graduation burden. US News & World Report recently broke down the top ten most debt-inducing universities, and the college grads in that list – a list that no one wants to be on – are saddled with between $43,712 and $47,066 in student debt.

The top ten colleges for student debt are as follows:

  1. Clark Atlanta University (GA):
  • Average debt load (class of 2011): $47,066
  • Percentage of students who borrowed: 94%
  • US News & World Report rank & category: RNP*; National Universities
  1. Lawrence Technological University (MI):
  • Average debt load (class of 2011): $46,677
  • Percentage of students who borrowed: 74%
  • US News & World Report rank & category: 40; Regional universities (Midwest)
  1. Johnson C. Smith University (NC):
  • Average debt load (class of 2011): $46,673
  • Percentage of students who borrowed: 100%
  • US News & World Report rank & category: RNP; National Liberal Arts Colleges
  1. Sacred Heart University (CT):
  • Average debt load (class of 2011): $45,402
  • Percentage of students who borrowed: 77%
  • US News & World Report rank & category: 38; Regional Universities (North)
  1. Wheelock College (MA):
  • Average debt load (class of 2011): $45,391
  • Percentage of students who borrowed: 97.2%
  • US News & World Report rank & category: 61; Regional Universities (North)
  1. Bennett College (NC):
  • Average debt load (class of 2011): $45,275
  • Percentage of students who borrowed: 94%
  • US News & World Report rank & category: RNP; National Liberal Arts Colleges
  1. Delaware State University:
  • Average debt load (class of 2011): $45,098
  • Percentage of students who borrowed: 90%
  • US News & World Report rank & category: RNP; Regional Universities (North)
  1. Franklin Pierce University (NH):
  • Average debt load (class of 2011): $44,702
  • Percentage of students who borrowed: 81%
  • US News & World Report rank & category: 124; Regional Universities (North)
  1. Widener University (PA):
  • Average debt load (class of 2011): $44,430
  • Percentage of students who borrowed: 86%
  • US News & World Report rank & category: 189; National Universities
  1. Oral Roberts University (OK):
  • Average debt load (class of 2011): $43,712
  • Percentage of students who borrowed: 70%
  • US News & World Report rank & category: 53; Regional Universities (West)

 

* RNP, which stands for Rank Not Published, means the school ranked in the bottom 25% of the report’s quality tier, so the journal decided to refrain from publishing the exact number.

Was your school on this list? If it was, we feel bad for you, son – you’ve got 99 problems, and crushing student debt is one. Thankfully though, there are some things you can do. Apply for fixed-rate federal loans, like a Stafford or a Perkins, instead of private ones that have variable rates. Move to Niagara Falls. City officials there are offering to help pay off student debt in order to attract bright, young talent – the kinds of people who will help breathe life back into the town. Make use of sites like Mint.com and Tuition.IO. They can help you organize and manage your student loan payments.

Student debt is an issue that plagues millions of Americans. As more and more people seek higher education and as the cost of that education continues to climb, the problem is only going to become more serious. If you’ve tackled student debt in a creative way, we’d love to hear about it in the comment section below.