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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Average Student Loan Debt

By Max Bellamy

The average student loan debt depends on the institution and the course which the student is studying. The National Post-Secondary Student Aid Study has calculated the following statistics for average student loans for the academic year 2003-2004.

Twenty-one percent of the students attending certificate courses at community colleges had borrowed loans at a median average of $5,307; while 78% of those attending certificate courses at private schools borrowed at a median average of $5,705. These figures show that the number of student borrowers at the private schools was marginally higher than the number at community schools. Among the associate degree students at community colleges, 28% had borrowed a median average of $5,879.

The statistic among bachelor's degree students was still higher. For the four-year bachelor's degree course at public colleges, 58% of students borrowed at a median average of $14,671; while at private colleges, 69% borrowed at $17,125.

For the four-year master's course at public colleges, 48% of the students were borrowers with a median average of $26,119; while at private colleges 73% students were borrowers with a median average of $29,000.

For specialized courses like doctorates and professional courses, the student debt was exceedingly high. 48% of the students undergoing doctorate courses at various institutions borrowed an average of $44,743 last year. 89% of the students opting for four-year professional courses at public colleges borrowed an average of $63,500 and 81% of the professional courses students at private colleges borrowed an average of $71,317.

These figures show that as the academic level goes higher, the average student loan debt also goes higher. The expense of professional courses such as medicine and law are very high and therefore, students also borrow more. Almost all students appearing for professional courses fund their education via some or the other student loan facilities. Another observable factor is that students studying in aided public schools and colleges borrow less and the number of borrowers is also less than at private schools.

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