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Student debt burdens often heaviest at small private colleges, study finds

Posted by Catherine Cloutier  January 6, 2014 04:30 PM

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Massachusetts college students graduated with average debt of more than $28,000, the 12th-highest in the country, according to a report by the research and advocacy group Institute for College Access & Success, The Boston Globe reported Monday.

Loan burdens proved to be heavier at small private institutions, such as Wheelock College, Anna Maria College, Becker College, and Curry College. These schools saw average student debts of more than $40,000, while larger private universities with higher endowments--Harvard University, Amherst College, and Boston College, to name a few--were able to offer sizable scholarship grants to disadvantaged students.

Officials at smaller private schools told the Globe they attract many students from "less wealthy backgrounds, who even with generous financial aid packages must borrow money."

The report relied on debt figures provided by colleges, and more than half of all public and nonprofit private schools responded.

Globe subscribers can read more about the study here.

Compare student debt at local colleges in this graphic:

06debt.jpg

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College Bound offers news and advice on preparing, applying, and ultimately heading off to college. Send your ideas and questions to Leslie.Anderson@globe.com. More »
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