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Cumulative Loan Debt Accrued by CUBoulder Bachelor's Grads
Cumulative Loan Debt Accrued by CUBoulder Bachelor's Grads
Perry Sailor, PBA, February 2012
Analysis
 The population was FY 201011 graduates with bachelor’s degrees (N=4,121), who entered as freshmen.
 They were divided into 3 groups: (1) Entered as resident, graduated as resident (RR); (2) entered as nonresident, converted, and graduated as resident (NR); and (3) entered as nonresident, graduated as nonresident (NN). Only about 6% of students are in the NR (converters) group. One student who switched from R to N was dropped from analyses, leaving 4,120.
 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, including those residents who entered as nonresidents, had some loan debt. Just under a third of students who entered as and remained nonresidents had loan debt.
 Virtually all students with any debt (either their own or parents’) had some student loans; only about 2% had parent loans without student loans. Among students with loans, about half of RR students, 31% of NR students, and 52% of NN students also had parent loans.
 The average student loan debt for RR students with any was $19,500 (median $18,000). The average was about $1,500 more than for the prior year’s graduates.
 The average parent loan debt for RR students with any was $29,000 (median $22,500). The average was about $2,000 more than for the prior year’s graduates.
 The average student loan debt for the 30% of NN students with any debt was $23,400 (median $18,000). The average parent loan debt for the 17% of NN students with any was $70,500 (median $63,400).
 When students with no debt are included in averages, they’re considerably lower. Averaged across all bachelor’s recipients in the group, the average RR student had about $9,000 in student loan debt, while the NN average was about $7,000.
 Because many more student have student loans than parent loans, you cannot simply add average student loan debt if any and average parent loan debt if any to get average total loan debt. Average total debt is far less than these sums. Average total debt for those with any debt – parent and student combined – was $33,000 for RR, $50,000 for NR, and $61,000 for NN. Medians were $25,000, $43,000, and $43,000 respectively.
 When students/parents with no debt were included, the averages were $16,000 for RR, $32,000 for NR, and $19,000 for NN. However, the range is very large for all groups. The average for residents was about the same as for the previous graduating class, while for nonresidents it was about $2,000 higher.
 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. The graphs and tables below show average debt by family resources group, as well as combined across resources groups. There are separate tables for residents and nonresidents. (The relatively small number of students who converted from nonresident to resident between entry and graduation are excluded.)
Graphs
Also see...
Perry Sailor  L:\ir\emgt\fa\cumdebt1011.doc, graphs from L:\ir\emgt\fa\cumdebtlong.xlsx
