Universities Try to Cut Student Loan Debt

1373057001000-200270020-001-1307051643_4_3National student loan debt has reached almost $1 trillion as of March 2013. That is why several universities are trying to reduce some of the crushing student loan debts on college attendees.

The University of North Carolina, which is one of the top ranked universities according to The Princeton Review, has several efforts they are putting in place to keep loan debt as low as possible.

As a result, generally speaking, University of North Carolina students are burdened with less debt than many college students. About 35% of UNC graduates had loans to earn their college degrees. The average federal loan debt was around $16,000. This is $11,000 less than the national average in 2011.

One of the big reasons that UNC students do not borrow as much is simply because UNC costs less than other schools. If the program costs less, it means that students will not borrow as much.

Tuition has gone up for some students in state, but about 40% of the funds are used to give scholarships to students for grants who need help for both in and out of state tuition.

UNC also is able to reduce student loan debt by selling trademarked merchandise and many products from the student stores on UNC’s campus.

Proceeds from those stores, plus profits from the UNC trademarked products totals $5 million a year. All of it is used to fund scholarships for students.

UNC has a long history of sharing its profits with students by giving them scholarships. The school is proud of this legacy, and always wants to make sure that as many students as possible are not burdened with debt when they leave the university for good.

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Also, Albright College in Reading PA is trying to cut down on loan debt for its students through a $4 million boost in the financial aid budget for the school. The college expects that it will meet 100% of student need that is demonstrated during the application process, starting with the class of 2017. This is an increase of 30% from previous programs. About 90% of Albright graduates took out loans in the past. Now with more financial aid, students will not have nearly as much debt when they graduate.

And, the University of Michigan is trying to cut down on student loan debt by cutting increases in instate tuition. The increase this year will be only 1% for in state and 3% for out of state. UM also boosted financial aid by $14 million last year, which is the 5th straight year of no increases in the costs for students. The new budget will also cut down on typical loan amounts by 500 dollars in the 2014 fiscal budget. About 45% of graduates in 2011 were in debt when they graduated, which is about 20% lower than the average for that year.

These strong efforts to cut down on debt are coming when colleges are not getting as much aid from their respective state governments. This has caused the amount of debt that students take on to explode since 2000. Average loan debt in 2000 was $17,000 and is now closer to $30,000.