Top Debt Schools

Forbes has just put out an interesting new article about the worst student debt colleges in America. According to the piece, by Chris Barth:

The Project on Student Debt Report looks at trends and averages in student loan debt. The report identifies colleges and states that graduated students with the highest and lowest debts in 2009. The report analyzes numbers collected from colleges via Peterson’s Common Data Set survey, an independently issued annual survey that includes questions about student loan debt.

The Project on Student Debt analyzed general trends in student loan debt and found that 2009 graduates carried an average of $24,000 in debt, a 6% increase over 2008.

These tend not to be high-prestige schools. In fact, most of them are not nationally known at all. The winners (their students are the losers), the top debt schools in America, are:

American University ($40,966 worth of student loan debt)

Buena Vista University ($40,569)

Cleveland Institute of Art ($61,270)

College for Creative Studies ($47,604)

Eastern Nazarene College ($47,815)

Florida Institute of Technology ($40,630)

Green Mountain College ($39,862)

Kettering University ($41,485)

Lawrence Technological University ($42,723)

Long Island University, Brooklyn Campus ($41,000)

Schools are listed alphabetically. I didn’t rank these from highest to lowest because the numbers are sort of inexact and there’s also something about the relative seriousness of the loans. The Project on Student Debt numbers represent the average debt held by students who have debt. Not all the students at these schools have taken out loans to attend these colleges. Only 54 percent of students at American graduate with debt. Some 97 percent of students graduate from LIU with student loans.

According to the Forbes article, the Project doesn’t rank the top schools either, though “it does identify the colleges it is confident fall into those ranges.”

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