graduate college no student loan debt

How To Graduate From College With No Student Loan Debt

graduate college no student loan debt

Overall, 38% of undergraduate students graduate with no student loan debt.

This features a third of students in Certificate applications, greater than half (52%) of students in Associate’s diploma applications and fewer than a 3rd (31%) of students in Bachelor’s diploma applications. 

There are a number of methods you’ll be able to enhance your probabilities of graduating with none student loans, based mostly on an evaluation of knowledge from the 2015-16 National Postsecondary Student Aid Study. We dive into the main points under.

Study Smart

Students with a greater grade level common (GPA) in faculty are much less prone to graduate with student loan debt, as proven on this desk. There is an analogous correlation between highschool GPA and graduating with no loans.

College Grade Point Average

% of All Undergraduate
Students With No Debt

% of Students In Bachelor’s
Degree Programs With No Debt

Almost three quarters (74%) of students who graduate with no debt have a 3.00 or increased faculty GPA.

Curiously, students who take faculty courses in highschool or AP courses are simply as prone to graduate with no student loan debt as students who don’t. Students who take International Baccalaureate (IB) courses, nonetheless, usually tend to graduate with no debt, 40% vs. 33%. 

Major In Mathematics Or Architecture

Almost half of students who get hold of a Bachelor’s diploma in arithmetic or statistics (47%) or structure and planning (48%) graduate with no student loan debt. More than half of students who get a Bachelor’s diploma in economics (51%) or philosophy (52%) graduate with no student loan debt.

This in contrast with training and healthcare, the place lower than 1 / 4 (24%) of Bachelor’s diploma recipients graduate with no student loan debt.

Related: How To Pick A College Major: 3 Top Strategies

Attend On-Campus Classes

A 3rd of students who took no distance training courses graduated with no student loan debt, whereas solely 1 / 4 of students whose total Bachelor’s diploma program was supplied by way of distance training had been in a position to keep away from debt. This statistic is a bit stunning as distance training programs are sometimes marketed as extra economical.

Participate In Study Abroad Programs

Roughly 40% of students who take part in examine overseas applications graduate with a Bachelor’s diploma and no student debt in comparison with 30% of students who do not take part in these applications. Students who take part in examine overseas applications even have a better adjusted gross earnings (AGI) than students who don’t.

Money Matters

As this desk exhibits, undergraduate students with dad and mom who’ve an adjusted gross earnings (AGI) of $100,000 or extra usually tend to graduate with no student loan debt.

Adjusted Gross Income (AGI)

Four-fifths of undergraduate students who graduated with no debt acquired monetary assist from their dad and mom. Among students in Bachelor’s diploma applications who graduated with no debt, 87% acquired monetary assist from their dad and mom.

Students whose dad and mom have doctoral levels, akin to PhDs and MDs, usually tend to graduate with no debt, maybe as a result of their dad and mom are typically wealthier. 

Become Financially Literate

Around 36% of students who answered three monetary literacy questions accurately graduated with out student loan debt, in contrast with 29% of different students.

Similarly, 36% of students who do not carry a steadiness on their credit playing cards graduate with no student loan debt. This compares with lower than 1 / 4 (22%) of students who do not repay their credit playing cards in full every month.

Related: 10 Best Personal Finance Books (That Will Change Your Life)

Establish Financial Security

A student’s means to give you $2,000 within the subsequent month correlates strongly with whether or not the student graduates with no debt, as proven on this desk.

Financial Security:

$2,000 Within The Next Month

Certainly may give you the $2,000

Probably may give you the $2,000

Probably couldn’t give you the $2,000

Certainly couldn’t give you the $2,000

This statistic make sense because it’s an indicator of the “margin” {that a} student has of their funds and the flexibility to cowl monetary stressors with out borrowing.

So, for instance, in case you’re in a position to construct up some emergencies money reserves by working some summer time jobs or aspect hustles all through your highschool years, it may considerably assist you to keep away from student debt throughout faculty.

Impact Of College Choice

We speak quite a bit concerning the significance of college alternative if you wish to reduce student debt. And the info from NPSAS:16 as soon as once more exhibits how this resolution can affect your funds throughout your collegiate years.

Choose A College With A Lower Net Price

Net worth is the distinction between the price of attendance and all grants. It’s the discounted sticker worth, the quantity that the student should pay from financial savings, contributions from earnings, and student loans. 

As the online worth decreases, the student will likely be higher in a position to cowl faculty prices with assets apart from loans.

More than three quarters (79%) of undergraduate students who graduated with no debt enrolled in schools with tuition and costs lower than $10,000. Among students in Bachelor’s diploma applications, greater than half (56%) of the students who graduated with no debt enrolled in schools with tuition and costs lower than $10,000.

More than half (53%) of undergraduate students and greater than a 3rd (36%) of students in Bachelor’s diploma applications who graduated with no debt enrolled in schools with a web worth lower than $10,000.

Students usually tend to graduate with no debt at schools with beneficiant “no loans” monetary assist insurance policies. These schools substitute loans with grants within the monetary assist packages of students with demonstrated monetary want. Likewise, students usually tend to graduate with no debt at schools with a decrease value of attendance, akin to in-state public schools.

College Affordability

When tuition is a decrease proportion of earnings, the student is extra prone to graduate with no debt, as proven on this desk.

There is an analogous end result based mostly on the school affordability index, as proven within the subsequent desk. The faculty affordability index is the online worth after grants as a % of earnings. A decrease faculty affordability index results in a decrease probability of graduating with student loan debt, particularly when the school affordability index is lower than 25%.

College Affordability Index

Cut College Costs By Living At Home With Your Parents

Half (50%) of undergraduate students who dwell at dwelling with their dad and mom graduate with no debt, in contrast with 36% of students who dwell on-campus. However, they’re much less prone to graduate.

Enroll At An Out-Of-State College, But Only If You Can Afford It

Almost half (49%) of students pay out-of-state tuition graduate with no loans, in contrast with lower than a 3rd (31%) of students who pay in-state tuition. Even although out-of-state tuition is increased, wealthier students usually tend to enroll in an out-of-state faculty.

Live In The Right State

Students who dwell in sure states usually tend to graduate with no debt. These states embody Alaska (58%), California (39%), Florida (40%), Hawaii (44%), Louisiana (37%), New Mexico (36%) and Utah (36%).

Don’t Enroll At For-Profit Colleges

A 3rd of students at public 4-year schools (34%) and personal non-profit 4-year schools (31%) graduate with no debt, in contrast with 14% of students at non-public for-profit 4-year schools.

Among all undergraduate students, 81% of students who graduated with no debt enrolled at public schools, in contrast with 13% at non-public non-profit schools and 6% at for-profit schools. (79% of the students enrolled in public schools who graduated with no debt had been in-state students.) 

Among students in Bachelor’s diploma applications, two-thirds (68%) of students who graduated with no debt had been enrolled at public schools, greater than 1 / 4 (28%) had been enrolled at non-public non-profit schools, and solely 4% had been enrolled at for-profit schools.

Enroll At A Very Selective College

Students who enroll on the most selective schools usually tend to graduate with no loans, partly as a result of these schools have extra beneficiant monetary assist insurance policies.

Selectivity (4-Year Nonprofit Institutions)

Not public or non-public nonprofit 4-year

Impact Of Financial Aid

When many students consider “financial aid,” they consider loans. But there are various kinds of monetary assist that do not contain debt. And, in reality, these assets can play a vital position in serving to faculty students keep away from taking out student loans.

File The FAFSA

Students who apply for federal student assist by submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) are literally a lot much less prone to graduate with no student loan debt, 15% vs. 66%.

Why is that this the case? Well, to start with, not submitting the FAFSA is usually an indicator of wealth. Students who obtain a Federal Pell Grant, for instance, are additionally a lot much less prone to graduate with no student loans, 16% vs. 39%.

Second, students who don’t file the FAFSA are additionally ineligible for federal student loans, making it tougher for them to borrow.

Go To College At The Same Time As Siblings

More than a 3rd (39%) of students who’ve siblings in faculty graduate with no loans, in contrast with lower than a 3rd (31%) of students who would not have siblings in faculty.

This could also be as a consequence of monetary assist formulation that divide the father or mother contribution portion of the anticipated household contribution (EFC) by the variety of kids in faculty.

This could change in 2024-2025, although, when the simplified FAFSA will drop this side of the federal want evaluation methodology.

Win Private Scholarships

Students who win non-public scholarships are much less prone to graduate with student loan debt, particularly students who win at the very least 5 figures in scholarships. 

Roughly 42% of students who win greater than $10,000 in non-public scholarships graduate with no debt, in contrast with 31% of students who don’t win any scholarships. More than half (56%) of students who win greater than $25,000 in non-public scholarships graduate with no student loan debt.

Impact Of Student Characteristics

Wondering how components like your age and marital standing affect your odds of graduating faculty with student debt? We break down the info under.

Age

Younger, extra conventional faculty students, usually tend to graduate with no debt. More than a 3rd (36%) of students age 15-23 after they graduate with a Bachelor’s diploma graduate with no debt, in contrast with lower than a 3rd of students age 24-29 (27%) and age 30 and older (21%).

Dependency Status

More than a 3rd (34%) of dependent students graduate with no debt, in contrast with a few quarter (27%) of unbiased students.

Marital Status

A 3rd (32%) of students who’re single graduate with no debt, in contrast with 29% of students who’re married and 23% of students who’re separated.

Children And Other Dependents

About 1 / 4 (26%) of students who’ve dependents graduate with no debt, in contrast with a few third (32%) of students who would not have any dependents.

Military Status

Almost half (46%) of students who’re serving on lively responsibility within the U.S. Armed Forces graduate with no debt. This compares with a 3rd (34%) of veterans and fewer than a 3rd (31%) of students with no navy service.

Related: The Ultimate Guide To Military And VA Education Benefits To Pay For College

Race

Black or African-American students are much less prone to graduate with no debt, whereas Asian students usually tend to graduate with no debt, as proven within the subsequent desk.

Race/Ethnicity (With Multiple)

Black or African American

American Indian or Alaska Native

Black or African-American students who enroll at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) are additionally barely much less prone to graduate with no debt, 11% vs. 16%.

Gender

Men usually tend to graduate with no loans than girls (34% to 29%). This pattern is particularly prevalent amongst:

  • Less selective schools
  • Older non-traditional students (age 30 and older)
  • Married students
  • Students who’ve dependents
  • Students who’re serving on lively responsibility within the U.S. Armed Forces.

There are additionally some educational majors in which there’s a major distinction by gender, as proven on this desk.

Computer And Information Sciences

Public Administration/Social Services

Final Thoughts

Some of the components listed above, like your age and race, are clearly out of your management. But different components, like the varsity you attend or the main your choose, are your private selections.

Pay consideration to the areas which might be inside your sphere of affect and do no matter you’ll be able to to attenuate your probabilities of needing to take out student loans throughout faculty. Even if you cannot keep away from student debt fully, mindfulness can assist you are taking out fewer loans than you’ll have in any other case.

Finally, notice that taking out some student loans throughout faculty is not the top of the world. With the fitting student loan compensation technique, you’ll be able to successfully handle your student debt after you graduate even when you work in direction of your different monetary objectives.

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