New Report: Student
Debt and the Class of 2010
New Steps by Obama Administration to Help Student Borrowers
Consumer Tips for Using Net Price Calculators
Sharp Uptick in Federal Student Loan Defaults
TICAS Recommendations on Financial Aid Award Letters
Our new report, Student Debt and the Class of 2010, found that the two-thirds of college seniors who graduated with loans in 2010 carried an average of $25,250 in debt. They also faced the highest unemployment rate for young college graduates in recent history at 9.1%. The report shows that average student debt levels vary widely by state as well as by college. To view debt levels for all 50 states plus the District of Columbia and for more than 1,000 individual public and private nonprofit four-year colleges and universities, visit our interactive online map.
Download the report, Student Debt and the Class of 2010
Read the press release
In case you didn't see last week's email update, read our statement.
Since October 29, U.S. colleges and universities are required to have "net price calculators" on their websites. These calculators are intended to help prospective students and their families gauge college affordability, providing early individualized estimates of what particular colleges will cost them after grants and scholarships. But as documented earlier this year in our report, Adding It All Up: An Early Look at Net Price Calculators, not all of these calculators are easy to find, use, or compare.
Data released in September by the U.S. Department of Education shows a sharp increase in the federal student loan default rate. The official "two-year cohort default rates" show that 8.8% of borrowers who entered repayment in 2009 had defaulted by the end of 2010, up from 7% for those entering repayment in 2008. As in previous years, for-profit colleges overall have the highest rates: 15% of borrowers from for-profit colleges defaulted, more than twice the rate at public colleges (7.2%) and more than three times the rate of non-profit colleges (4.6%).
Read our press release on the default rate increase
For more information see our Cohort Default Rate resource page
For the millions of students who receive financial aid each year, award letters represent a crucial point in the often confusing financial aid process. We've long advocated for financial aid letters to be clear, comparable, and consumer-friendly, so that students and their families can make better informed decisions about where to go to college and how to pay for it. In September TICAS was invited to present our recommendations to the U.S. Department of Education at a public meeting on the development of a model format for award letters. And last week the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released a draft financial aid disclosure form, or draft "shopping sheet" that is consistent with many of our recommendations. See and comment on it online at http://www.consumerfinance.gov/students/knowbeforeyouowe/.
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TICAS is an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization. The generous support of people like you helps make our Project on Student Debt and other initiatives possible. Please consider a tax-deductible donation to support our ongoing efforts to advance college access and success.