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Monday, May 27, 2024
The Eagle

AU students graduate with more average debt than Georgetown, GW students

D.C. graduated college students with the highest average debt in the country in 2009, and AU graduates have one of the highest student debt averages among D.C. schools.

The average debt of all public and private D.C. colleges was $30,033, while the average debt of private colleges was $31,608, according to a report released Thursday by the Project on Student Debt.

Among D.C. colleges, AU ranked second in debt, with an average of $40,966 in student debt, more than the average debt for Georgetown University and George Washington University students.

Students at Corcoran College of Arts and Design accumulated the most student debt in D.C. in 2009, with an average of $42,355.

GWU’s students had the third-highest average debt with $31,299, and Georgetown’s students had an average of $25,085.

The report also indicated that high tuition does not necessarily result in high debt. Harvard, Princeton and Yale were among 32 colleges with tuition over $20,000 that had an average student debt lower than $15,000 in 2009.

According to the Project on Student Debt, factors that may contribute to high debt include:

• how and when financial aid options are communicated to students • the availability to commute to parents’ home • discounts or “institutional aid” offered by colleges • the degree to which that aid is targeted to students with financial need • cost of living

College debt has increased by six percent from 2008 to 2009, and unemployment among college graduates has increased by 2.9 percent, according to The Project on Student Debt.

The six percent increase is similar to the average annual increase over the past four years and did not only spike during the economic crisis of 2008, according to the report.

lgiangreco@theeagleonline.com


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