Student Loan Related

100 Private Colleges That Have Reduced Student Borrowing the Most

Written by Guest Post

The student loan crisis has deepened, with the average graduate in the Class of 2018 leaving school with $29,800 in debt. To combat this, some colleges have pledged to reduce borrowing rates among students.

Harvard and Columbia, for example, cover tuition costs for students from families that make less than $65,000 and $60,000 per year, respectively. Others, such as Williams, Amherst and Vassar, offer generous financial aid packages to meet their students’ full demonstrated financial need.

But have schools’ efforts to ramp up financial aid paid off for students? Student Loan Hero took a look at the average borrowing per student in the 2011-12 academic year and compared it to the average borrowing in 2016-17 to determine which private colleges have succeeded in reducing student borrowing.

Related: Here’s where the presidential candidates stand on student loans

Image Credit: iStock/Prostock-Studio.

What factors play into the rate of student loan borrowing?

With tuition costs steadily on the rise, students have to take on significant debt to earn their degree. And unfortunately, many graduates end up underemployed and struggle to keep up with their student loan payments.

If colleges are committed to lowering student loan borrowing, they’ll have to find ways to reduce tuition costs and expand financial aid. But as our data revealed, increasing grants and scholarships might not be enough to cap borrowing.

While Touro College saw the average amount of loans students borrowed go down by nearly 74%, it counterintuitively provided smaller grant and scholarship awards and had a net increase in costs among students who received grants. On the other side of the spectrum, we saw the average amounts students borrowed at Bethel University (Tenn.) increase even though grants and scholarships got bigger.

Based on these surprising findings, there must be a multitude of factors that play into student debt rates, including a school’s endowment and the socioeconomic make-up of its student body. Increases in cost of living may also play a part in how much students need to borrow.

By digging into the root causes of student loan borrowing, as well as making an effort to reduce tuition costs, colleges can take more effective actions to lower debt among their students.

Image Credit: iStock/jacoblund.

How to avoid borrowing too much in student loans for college

While a certain amount of student loans can enable you to earn a valuable degree, too much debt can weigh down your finances for years to come. Before selecting a college, compare your costs of attendance to find a school that works for your budget.

If you decide to borrow student loans, make sure you understand what you’re getting into before signing on the dotted line. Use a student loan calculator to estimate your future monthly payments and see how much interest you’ll pay over the years. And find the lowest rates you can on a student loan, whether you borrow a federal loan, a private student loan or a combination of both.

Regardless of your family’s income level, make sure to submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to put yourself in the running for financial aid. You should apply for grants and scholarships from your school, state or a private organization to further subsidize the costs of your education.

Finally, consider making small payments on your student loans while in school to reduce interest. Once you graduate, explore student loan refinancing options, as refinancing could lower your rate and save you money on your student debt.

Related: These 5 states offer help to pay off student loan debt

These are the 100 private schools that have reduced student borrowing the most:

Image Credit: iStock/shironosov.

100. Saint Martin’s University, Lacey, Washington

Reduction in student borrowing: 22.5%

Image Credit: Saint Martin’s University, Lacey, Washington.

99. Ohio Valley University, Vienna, West Virginia

Reduction in student borrowing: 22.6%

Image Credit: Ohio Valley University.

98. St Bonaventure University, Saint Bonaventure, New York

Reduction in student borrowing: 22.7%

Image Credit: St Bonaventure University, Saint Bonaventure, New York.

97. Ferrum College, Ferrum, Virginia

Reduction in student borrowing: 22.8%

Image Credit: Ferrum College, Ferrum, Va.

96. Tie: St Thomas University, Miami Gardens, Florida

Reduction in student borrowing: 22.9%

Image Credit: St Thomas University, Miami Gardens, Florida.

96. Tie: Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut

Reduction in student borrowing: 22.9%

Image Credit: Wesleyan University, Middletown, Conn..

96. Tie: Menlo College, Atherton, California

Reduction in student borrowing: 22.9%

Image Credit: Menlo College, Atherton, Calif. .

93. Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, California

Reduction in student borrowing: 23.3%

Image Credit: Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, Calif. .

92. Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia

Reduction in student borrowing: 23.5%

Image Credit: Emory University, Atlanta, Ga.

91. Tie: Florida Southern College, Lakeland, Florida

Reduction in student borrowing: 23.6%

Image Credit: Florida Southern College, Lakeland, Fla..

91. Tie: Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Reduction in student borrowing: 23.6%

Image Credit: Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, N.C..

89. Lyon College, Batesville, Arkansas

Reduction in student borrowing: 24.2%

Image Credit: Lyon College, Batesville, Ark..

88. Claremont McKenna College, Claremont, California

Reduction in student borrowing: 24.5%

Image Credit: Claremont McKenna College, Claremont, Calif. .

87. Bacone College, Muskogee, Oklahoma

Reduction in student borrowing: 24.6%

Image Credit: Bacone College, Muskogee, Okla..

86. The College of Idaho, Caldwell, Idaho

Reduction in student borrowing: 25.0%

Image Credit: The College of Idaho, Caldwell, Idaho.

85. Tie: Moravian College, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

Reduction in student borrowing: 25.1%

Image Credit: Moravian College, Bethlehem, Pa..

85. Tie: Mars Hill University, Mars Hill, North Carolina

Reduction in student borrowing: 25.1%

Image Credit: Mars Hill University, Mars Hill, N.C..

83. Lafayette College, Easton, Pennsylvania

Reduction in student borrowing: 25.4%

Image Credit: Lafayette College, Easton, Pa..

82. Colby-Sawyer College, New London, New Hampshire

Reduction in student borrowing: 25.5%

Image Credit: Colby-Sawyer College, New London, N.H..

81. Berea College, Berea, Kentucky

Reduction in student borrowing: 25.7%

Image Credit: Berea College, Berea, Ky..

80. Cardinal Stritch University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Reduction in student borrowing: 26.3%

Image Credit: Cardinal Stritch University, Milwaukee, Wis. .

79. William Jessup University, Rocklin, California

Reduction in student borrowing: 26.4%

Image Credit: William Jessup University, Rocklin, Calif..

78. Baker University, Baldwin City, Kansas

Reduction in student borrowing: 26.9%

Image Credit: Baker University, Baldwin City, Kan. .

77. California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California

Reduction in student borrowing: 27.1%

Image Credit: California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Calif..

76. Rochester College, Rochester Hills, Michigan

Reduction in student borrowing: 27.6%

Image Credit: Rochester College, Rochester Hills, Mich..

75. Trinity University, San Antonio, Texas

Reduction in student borrowing: 27.7%

Image Credit: Trinity University, San Antonio, Texas .

74. LeTourneau University, Longview, Texas

Reduction in student borrowing: 27.8%

Image Credit: LeTourneau University, Longview, Texas.

73. Regis College, Weston, Massachusetts

Reduction in student borrowing: 28.0%

Image Credit: Regis College, Weston, Mass. .

72. Wabash College, Crawfordsville, Indiana

Reduction in student borrowing: 28.6%

Image Credit: Wabash College, Crawfordsville, Ind..

71. Williams College, Williamstown, Massachusetts

Reduction in student borrowing: 28.9%

Image Credit: Williams College, Williamstown, Mass..

70. Tie: College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, Massachusetts

Reduction in student borrowing: 29.4%

Image Credit: College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, Mass..

70. Tie: Medaille College, Buffalo, New York

Reduction in student borrowing: 29.4%

Image Credit: Medaille College, Buffalo, N.Y. .

68. Boston College, Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts

Reduction in student borrowing: 29.8%

Image Credit: Boston College, Chestnut Hill, Mass. .

67. Wingate University, Wingate, North Carolina

Reduction in student borrowing: 30.5%

Image Credit: Wingate University, Wingate, N.C. .

66. California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, California

Reduction in student borrowing: 31.3%

Image Credit: California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, Calif..

65. Wilmington University, New Castle, Delaware

Reduction in student borrowing: 31.6%

Image Credit: Wilmington University, New Castle, Del..

64. Birmingham Southern College, Birmingham, Alabama

Reduction in student borrowing: 31.7%

Image Credit: Birmingham Southern College, Birmingham, Ala..

63. Lees-McRae College, Banner Elk, North Carolina

Reduction in student borrowing: 32.0%

Image Credit: Lees-McRae College, Banner Elk, N.C. .

62. Tie: Upper Iowa University, Fayette, Iowa

Reduction in student borrowing: 32.4%

Image Credit: Upper Iowa University, Fayette, Iowa .

62. Edward Waters College, Jacksonville, Florida

Reduction in student borrowing: 32.4%

Image Credit: Edward Waters College, Jacksonville, Fla..

60. Tie: Wesley College, Dover, Delaware

Reduction in student borrowing: 32.5%

Image Credit: Wesley College, Dover, Del. .

60. Tie: Bloomfield College, Bloomfield, New Jersey

Reduction in student borrowing: 32.5%

Image Credit: Bloomfield College, Bloomfield, N.J. .

60. Tie: Graceland University, Lamoni, Iowa

Reduction in student borrowing: 32.5%

Image Credit: Graceland University, Lamoni, Iowa .

60. Tie: Spring Arbor University, Spring Arbor, Michigan

Reduction in student borrowing: 32.5%

Image Credit: Spring Arbor University, Spring Arbor, Mich. .

56. Bluefield College, Bluefield, Virginia

Reduction in student borrowing: 32.6%

Image Credit: Bluefield College, Bluefield, Va..

55. Ohio Christian University, Circleville, Ohio

Reduction in student borrowing: 32.7%

Image Credit: Ohio Christian University, Circleville, Ohio.

54. Pitzer College, Claremont, California

Reduction in student borrowing: 33.3%

Image Credit: Pitzer College, Claremont, Calif..

53. Indiana Wesleyan University, Marion, Indiana

Reduction in student borrowing: 33.7%

Image Credit: Indiana Wesleyan University, Marion, Ind..

52. Greensboro College, Greensboro, North Carolina

Reduction in student borrowing: 33.8%

Image Credit: Greensboro College, Greensboro, N.C..

51. Mount Saint Mary’s University, Los Angeles, California

Reduction in student borrowing: 34.1%

Image Credit: Mount Saint Mary’s University, Los Angeles, Calif. .

50. Fisher College, Boston, Massachusetts

Reduction in student borrowing: 34.1%

Image Credit: Fisher College, Boston, Mass..

49. Cumberland University, Lebanon, Tennessee

Reduction in student borrowing: 34.1%

Image Credit: Cumberland University, Lebanon, Tenn..

48. New York University, New York

Reduction in student borrowing: 34.4%

Image Credit: New York University, New York.

47. Maranatha Baptist University, Watertown, Wisconsin

Reduction in student borrowing: 34.6%

Image Credit: Maranatha Baptist University, Watertown, Wis..

456. Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Reduction in student borrowing: 34.7%

Image Credit: Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pa..

45. Trinity Washington University, Washington D.C.

Reduction in student borrowing: 35.6%

Image Credit: Trinity Washington University, Washington D.C..

44. Tie: La Roche College, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Reduction in student borrowing: 35.8%

Image Credit: La Roche College, Pittsburgh, Pa..

44. Tie: Hanover College, Hanover, Indiana

Reduction in student borrowing: 35.8%

Image Credit: Hanover College, Hanover, Ind. .

44. Tie: Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, California

Reduction in student borrowing: 35.8%

Image Credit: Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, Calif..

41. Columbia College, Columbia, Missouri

Reduction in student borrowing: 36.5%

Image Credit: Columbia College, Columbia, Mo..

40. Soka University of America, Aliso Viejo, California

Reduction in student borrowing: 37.1%

Image Credit: Soka University of America, Aliso Viejo, Calif. .

39. Dominican College of Blauvelt, Orangeburg, New York

Reduction in student borrowing: 37.3%

Image Credit: Dominican College of Blauvelt, Orangeburg, N.Y. .

38. Chaminade University of Honolulu, Honolulu, Hawaii

Reduction in student borrowing: 37.4%

Image Credit: Chaminade University of Honolulu, Honolulu, Hawaii.

37. Brigham Young University, Laie, Hawaii

Reduction in student borrowing: 37.6%

Image Credit: Brigham Young University, Laie, Hawaii.

36. Biola University, La Mirada, California

Reduction in student borrowing: 37.8%

Image Credit: Biola University, La Mirada, Calif. .

35. Denison University, Granville, Ohio

Reduction in student borrowing: 38.7%

Image Credit: Denison University, Granville, Ohio.

34. Seton Hall University, South Orange, New Jersey

Reduction in student borrowing: 38.9%

Image Credit: Seton Hall University, South Orange, N.J..

33. Cabrini University, Radnor, Pennsylvania

Reduction in student borrowing: 39.9%

Image Credit: Cabrini University, Radnor, Pa. .

32. Oakwood University, Huntsville, Alabama

Reduction in student borrowing: 40.1%

Image Credit: Oakwood University, Huntsville, Ala. .

31. Colby College, Waterville, Maine

Reduction in student borrowing: 40.6%

Image Credit: Colby College, Waterville, Maine.

30. Randolph College, Lynchburg, Virginia

Reduction in student borrowing: 40.8%

Image Credit: Randolph College, Lynchburg, Va. .

29. Florida Memorial University, Miami Gardens, Florida

Reduction in student borrowing: 41.0%

Image Credit: Florida Memorial University, Miami Gardens, Fla. .

28. Pacific Union College, Angwin, California

Reduction in student borrowing: 41.4%

Image Credit: Pacific Union College, Angwin, Calif.

27. Southeastern University, Lakeland, Florida

Reduction in student borrowing: 41.5%

Image Credit: Southeastern University, Lakeland, Fla..

26. Texas College, Tyler, Texas

Reduction in student borrowing: 41.5%

Image Credit: Texas College, Tyler, Texas.

25. Erskine College, Due West, South Carolina

Reduction in student borrowing: 42.0%

Image Credit: Erskine College, Due West, S.C. .

24. Colorado Christian University, Lakewood, Colorado

Reduction in student borrowing: 42.3%

Image Credit: Colorado Christian University, Lakewood, Colo. .

23. Tie: Converse College, Spartanburg, South Carolina

Reduction in student borrowing: 42.9%

Image Credit: Converse College, Spartanburg, S.C..

23. Tie: Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, California

Reduction in student borrowing: 42.9%

Image Credit: Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, Calif. .

21. Stillman College, Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Reduction in student borrowing: 43.0%

Image Credit: Stillman College, Tuscaloosa, Ala. .

20. Averett University, Danville, Virginia

Reduction in student borrowing: 43.1%

Image Credit: Averett University, Danville, Va..

19. Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, Alabama

Reduction in student borrowing: 43.8%

Image Credit: Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, Ala. .

18. Hodges University, Naples, Florida

Reduction in student borrowing: 45.2%

Image Credit: Hodges University, Naples, Fla..

17. Huntington University, Huntington, Indiana

Reduction in student borrowing: 45.9%

Image Credit: Huntington University, Huntington, Ind..

16. Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois

Reduction in student borrowing: 46.5%

Image Credit: Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill. .

15. Tabor College, Hillsboro, Kansas

Reduction in student borrowing: 46.6%

Image Credit: Tabor College, Hillsboro, Kan..

14. St Francis College, Brooklyn Heights, New York

Reduction in student borrowing: 47.3%

Image Credit: St Francis College, Brooklyn Heights, N.Y..

13. Tie: University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois

Reduction in student borrowing: 47.9%

Image Credit: University of Chicago, Chicago.

13. Tie: Bennett College, Greensboro, North Carolina

Reduction in student borrowing: 47.9%

Image Credit: Bennett College, Greensboro, N.C. .

11. Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, New Jersey

Reduction in student borrowing: 49.4%

Image Credit: Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, N.J. .

10. Heritage University, Toppenish, Washington

Reduction in student borrowing: 51.1%

Image Credit: Heritage University, Toppenish, Wash. .

9. National University, La Jolla, California

Reduction in student borrowing: 53.9%

Image Credit: National University, La Jolla, Calif..

8. Wilberforce University, Wilberforce, Ohio

Reduction in student borrowing: 55.6%

Image Credit: Wilberforce University, Wilberforce, Ohio.

7. Southern New Hampshire University, Manchester, New Hampshire

Reduction in student borrowing: 60.3%

Image Credit: Southern New Hampshire University, Manchester, N.H..

6. Texas Wesleyan University, Fort Worth, Texas

Reduction in student borrowing: 61.6%

Image Credit: Texas Wesleyan University, Fort Worth, Texas.

5. Iowa Wesleyan University, Mount Pleasant, Iowa

Reduction in student borrowing: 63.1%

While the 2011-12 cohort at Iowa Wesleyan took out an average of $5,525, that number dropped to $2,036 five years later. Like some of the other schools on this list, Iowa Wesleyan actually saw costs increase during this period and institutional grant awards get smaller.

But its endowment grew by more than $4 million, suggesting that the college might be subsidizing costs for students in other areas or, perhaps, enrolling more students who aren’t relying as much on student loans to cover tuition.

Image Credit: Iowa Wesleyan University, Mount Pleasant, Iowa.

4. Lane College, Jackson, Tennessee

Reduction in student borrowing: 65.7%

Lane College saw borrowing among its first-time, full-time undergraduates decrease by 65.7%, While students were borrowing an average of $6,275 in 2011-12, that number shrank to $2,155 in 2016-17.

This change may be reflective of the 17.9% increase in the school’s endowment, it may also have to do with the growth in institutional grants. While the average grant was just $316 in 2011-12, it grew to $1,522 in 2016-17.

Image Credit: JERRYE & ROY KLOTZ M.D..

3. St. Joseph’s College, Brooklyn, New York

Reduction in student borrowing: 68.6%

The average first-time student at St. Joseph’s College-New York borrowed 68.6% less than their 2011-12 predecessor.

Although the percentage of students borrowing increased slightly from 52% to 58%, the average amount borrowed went from $2,956 to $928. So while more students are borrowing to earn their degrees from St. Joseph’s, those students aren’t borrowing as much.

Image Credit: St. Joseph’s College, Brooklyn, N.Y. .

2. Park University, Parkville, Missouri

Reduction in student borrowing: 69.4%

Park University made second place on our list, with average student loan borrowing going from $3,763 to $1,153. While the percentage of students who borrowed went up slightly — from 62% to 68% — the average amount borrowed went down by 69.4%.

Surprisingly, Park University, like Touro, saw its net cost for students increase during this same period. Plus, its average grant awards shrunk for first-time, full-time undergraduate students.

But the college’s endowment grew by 39%, from $53.9 million to $75 million. Perhaps it directed some of this increased funding into financial aid for low-income students. Even though its average grants appeared to decrease, it may have redistributed its aid in such a way to provide financial aid to those who need it most.

Image Credit: Park University, Parkville, Mo. .

1. Touro College, New York

Reduction in student borrowing: 73.6%

Touro College’s 19,000-plus students don’t have to borrow as much as their predecessors did, since Touro College saw a decrease in the amount students borrowed by 73.6% over the five-year period under consideration.

In 2011-12, students borrowed an average of $2,770 to attend Touro. But in 2016-17, the average student borrowed just $731. What’s more, the percentage of students who borrowed went way down, from 82% in 2011-12 to only 13% in 2016-17.

One reason for its success may have to do with the substantial growth in school funds — Touro’s college endowment went from $1.9 million to over $12.3 million. That said, its grant awards to students actually decreased and tuition costs went up.

Perhaps as Touro College grew more established, it attracted greater numbers of students who didn’t borrow as much to attend (or weren’t eligible to borrow federal loans, as is the case with international students).

Related: These are the states where people have the most student loan debt

This article originally appeared on StudentLoanHero.com and was syndicated by MediaFeed.org.




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