More debt data now available

August 28, 2006

The Economic Diversity web site now includes the average student loan debt for the 2005 graduating class as reported by 1,421 four-year institutions. Also included is the proportion of graduates with any student loans. The site provides access to these data (as well as comparable figures for 2000 and 2004) through an agreement with college guide publisher Thomson Peterson's....

Private loan interest rates average about 10% today

August 8, 2006

Companies offering private student loans advertise low rates, but the rates they actually charge to individual borrowers, and how they determine those rates, are closely-held trade secrets. The rates are based on borrower credit scores and other factors; ultimately, companies maximize their returns by trying to charge the highest rate they can while still getting the business.

Towards a simpler FAFSA

August 2, 2006

One well-documented obstacle to economic diversity is the financial aid application process itself: the FAFSA is incredibly long, confusing and intimidating. When low-income students don't apply for financial aid, they miss out on resources that could increase their chances of success in college by allowing them to go to school full time, work reasonable hours, and attend more...

Ranking Campuses by Low-Income Enrollment

July 14, 2006

In the Chronicle of Higher Education's excellent series on low-income and working class students in college, the editors included rankings of elite colleges' enrollments of Pell grant recipients. The Pell grant data that is available from the U.S. Department of Education is for an entire academic year -- in other words, all the students who received a grant during any term, including...

Campus Data on Private Loans

June 29, 2006

The database includes campus-by-campus data on the total student loan debt of graduating seniors. The numbers come from the Common Data Set, and are reported by the campuses to the various publishers of college guides. The instructions to campuses tell them to include private loans in the total. But at a recent meeting between campus data-keepers and the...