College Borrowing Drops for 7th Consecutive Year

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The amount students are borrowing for college continues to drop, according to a report released last month by the College Board.

This decline marks the seventh year in a row that students have opted to borrow less for higher education.

“Between 2007-08 and 2010-11, tuition prices rose rapidly, particularly at public colleges and universities,” Sandy Baum, a co-author of the report, noted in a press release. “Federal expenditures on student aid increased dramatically, helping a growing student population to finance their education. At the same time, students borrowed more and more. Since 2010-11, all of those trends have reversed.”

According to the report, the average amount borrowed by a full-time undergraduate student in 2017-18 was $4,510. By comparison, the average student in 2010-11 borrowed the present-day equivalent of $5,830.

Meanwhile college prices continued to grow at a moderate rate, with tuition and fees for in-state students at public four-year colleges and universities increasing by 2.5 percent before adjusting for inflation.

Nearly 60 percent of full-time dependent students from families earning less than $35,000 annually received enough grant aid to cover the cost of tuition and fees, with Pell Grants comprising a declining share of federal grants.

Read the full report and visit’s NACAC’s paying for college webpage.

Admitted writer/editor Mary Stegmeir welcomes additional comments and story ideas at mstegmeir@nacacnet.org. 

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