Public Schools Still Leave Students With Huge Debt

Apparently some students attending college in New York still have large student debt, even though the school they attend is public. From the New York Post came an article yesterday demonstrating that students in public and private schools often end up owing equivalent amounts:

“Big sticker prices at schools are sometimes deceiving,” said Edie Irons, spokeswoman for the Institute for College Access & Success, a higher-education advocacy group.

Columbia University, for instance, charges $41,200 a year in tuition, yet its graduates have an average of $18,420 in student-loan debt when they receive their sheepskins.

Meanwhile, the average grad from CUNY City College leaves school with a debt of $16,950 despite having shelled out only $4,600 a year in tuition.

Students who go to elite, private colleges graduate with the same (or even less) debt as students in public colleges. This trend continues upstate, too. Students at SUNY Fredonia owe an average $23,452, despite the fact that the school only costs $4,970 a year. But graduates of Sarah Lawrence College (where tuition is $41,000 a year) have an average student loan burden of only $15,581.

Private schools are often still very costly for students, however. The highest student debt in New York was held by graduates of New York University, the second most expensive school in the United States of America. NYU graduates have an average student loan debt of $34,850.

Support Nonprofit Journalism

If you enjoyed this article, consider making a donation to help us produce more like it. The Washington Monthly was founded in 1969 to tell the stories of how government really works—and how to make it work better. Fifty years later, the need for incisive analysis and new, progressive policy ideas is clearer than ever. As a nonprofit, we rely on support from readers like you.

Yes, I’ll make a donation

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer