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Cumulative Loan Debt Accrued by CUBoulder Bachelor's Grads
Cumulative Loan Debt Accrued by CUBoulder Bachelor's Grads
February, 2004
Analysis
 The population was FY 200203 graduates with bachelor's degrees (N=3,209), who entered as freshmen.
 They were divided into 3 groups: (1) Entered as resident, graduated as resident; (2) entered as nonresident,
graduated as resident; and (3) entered as nonresident, graduated as nonresident. (Six students of 3,209
entered as residents and graduated as nonresidents; one had loan debt. These cases were discarded from
analyses.)
 Variables: Years with loans, percent with student loans, percent with parent loans, percent with either,
averages and distributions of total debt from student loans, total debt from parent loans, and total debt.
(Parent loans do not require demonstration of financial need and are at higher interest rates than student
loans.) All means and percentiles were computed two ways: (1) including only students with any loan debt
(that is, excluding students with zero debt), and (2) including all students, including those with zero debt.
They are differentiated in the tables below.
Results
 About half of those who were residents at time of degree had some loan debt, whether they entered as
nonresidents and converted (NR) or entered as residents (RR); about a quarter of students who entered as
and remained nonresidents (NN) had loan debt.
 Virtually all students with any debt (student or parent) had some student loans. About half of RR students
and NR students with loans, and 65% of NN students with loans, also had parent loans.
 The amount of student and parent loan debt, if any, was roughly comparable across groups,
ranging from an average of $1422,000 for students and $1621,000 for parents. The exception
was parent loan debt for the NN group, which averaged $47,000. However, when students/parents
with no debt were included, the average was $411,000 for the three groups of students, with
the NR group highest, and $48,000 for parents, with the NN group highest.
 Mean total debt for those with any debt  parent and student combined  was $22,000 for RR,
$32,000 for NR, and $45,000 for NN. Medians were $18,000, $27,000, and $31,000 respectively.
When students/parents with no debt were included, the averages were $10,000 for RR, $16,000 for
NR, and $12,000 for NN. However, the range is very large for all groups.
 In our analyses we assign families to one of four quartiles according to the amount of financial
resources they have available, with a fifth group composed of families who did not apply for
needbased aid and who are thus assumed to have the most resources. Excluding this group,
80100% of each quartile had debt, except for RR's in the 4th quartile (highest of those
applying for aid), at 58%. Among families not applying for aid, 16% of RR, 18% of NR, and 8%
of NN families had debt.
 Excluding families who didn't apply for needbased aid, the family resource quartile had little
relationship to debt. Group membership (i.e., RR, NR, or NN) had a much bigger relationship,
with RRs having the least debt and NNs the most.
Table 1: Basic statistics
Measure 
Entry Res, Degree Res 
Entry Nonres, Degree Res 
Entry Nonres, Degree Nonres 
N 
1,895
 328 
980 
Mean years with loans (student or parent) 
3.2 
3.4 
3.0 
Percent with student loan 
45% 
51% 
26% 
Percent with parent loan 
22% 
25% 
17% 
Percent with either 
46% 
51% 
26% 
Mean student loan debt (if any) 
$ 14 K 
$ 22 K 
$ 14 K 
Mean parent loan debt (if any) 
$ 16 K 
$ 21 K 
$ 47 K 
Mean student loan debt (including those with none) 
$ 6 K 
$ 11 K 
$ 4 K 
Mean parent loan debt (including those with none) 
$ 4 K 
$ 5 K 
$ 8 K 
Table 2: Total loan debt, Student and parent combined  for those with any
Measure 
Entry Res, Degree Res 
Entry Nonres, Degree Res 
Entry Nonres, Degree Nonres 
Mean 
$ 22 K 
$ 32 K 
$ 45 K 
Median 
$ 18 K 
$ 27 K 
$ 31 K 
10th percentile 
$ 5 K 
$ 7 K 
$ 6 K 
25th percentile 
$ 10 K 
$ 15 K 
$ 12 K 
75th percentile 
$ 31 K 
$ 43 K 
$ 75 K 
90th percentile 
$ 47 K 
$ 60 K 
$106 K 
Table 3: Total loan debt, Student and parent combined  including those with none
Measure 
Entry Res, Degree Res 
Entry Nonres, Degree Res 
Entry Nonres, Degree Nonres 
Mean 
$ 10 K 
$ 16 K 
$ 12 K 
Median 
$ 0 
$ 3 K 
$ 0 
10th percentile 
$ 0 
$ 0 
$ 0 
25th percentile 
$ 0 
$ 0 
$ 0 
75th percentile 
$ 17 K 
$ 28 K 
$ 5 K 
90th percentile 
$ 34 K 
$ 53 K 
$ 49 K 
Table 4: Total loan debt, Percent with any debt by Family Resources Group
Family Resources Group 
Entry Res, Degree Res 
Entry Nonres, Degree Res 
Entry Nonres, Degree Nonres 
1 (lowest) 
91% 
100% 
88% 
2 
85% 
100% 
81% 
3 
86% 
91% 
88% 
4 
58% 
87% 
87% 
14 combined 
77% 
92% 
86% 
5 (did not apply for needbased aid) 
16% 
18% 
8% 
Table 5: Mean total debt by Family Resources Group  For those with any
Family Resources Group 
Entry Res, Degree Res 
Entry Nonres, Degree Res 
Entry Nonres, Degree Nonres 
1 (lowest) 
$ 20 K 
$ 33 K 
$ 47 K 
2 
$ 23 K 
$ 27 K 
$ 64 K 
3 
$ 25 K 
$ 36 K 
$ 47 K 
4 
$ 27 K 
$ 37 K 
$ 49 K 
14 combined 
$ 24 K 
$ 34 K 
$ 50 K 
5 (did not apply for needbased aid) 
$ 12 K 
$ 22 K 
$ 26 K 
Table 6: Mean total debt by Family Resources Group  Including those with none
Family Resources Group 
Entry Res, Degree Res 
Entry Nonres, Degree Res 
Entry Nonres, Degree Nonres 
1 (lowest) 
$ 18 K 
$ 33 K 
$ 42 K 
2 
$ 19 K 
$ 27 K 
$ 52 K 
3 
$ 21 K 
$ 33 K 
$ 42 K 
4 
$ 16 K 
$ 32 K 
$ 43 K 
14 combined 
$ 18 K 
$ 31 K 
$ 44 K 
5 (did not apply for needbased aid) 
$ 2 K 
$ 4 K 
$ 2 K 
Perry Sailor  L:\ir\emgt\fa\cumdebt.doc
