The 10 Private Colleges Where Student Debt Is Lowest

Top Private Colleges With the Lowest Student Graduating DebtAbout two-thirds of recent graduates borrowed to help pay for their college educations. Those earning degrees from private schools walked away with an average of $28,100 in student debt, according to The College Board. The plight of these heavily indebted graduates in a dismal job market -- in which the few positions available seem increasingly unlikely to make good use of what they gained from all that higher education -- is causing some people to question the value of going to college.

But the following 10 colleges and universities, which include some of the top institutions in the world, provided enough financial aid to get their students across the finish line for half the average amount or less; several kept average debt below $6,000.

Check out the top five private universities and colleges with the lowest student graduating debt below, and head over to Kiplinger to see the rest.

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Valen Smith

In one very important way, my student loan debt has been worth incurring. My degree in Sociology from a good college has helped land several jobs. But, the initial amount I borrowed many years ago has long since been "paid", it is the interest charges and penalties incurred during times of personal hardship that are still miring me in thousands of dollars of debt. I chose to take time off in the 1990's from working full time to take care of my severely disabled mother at home, never putting her into a nursing home, fulfilling her wish to die at home. I saved the government many thousands of dollars in medical and nursing home costs, but a $5000 penalty was added to my debt for the temporary hold I put on paying my loan. I have absolutely no regret about my decision. But now, as I approach age 60, I owe thousands for a degree earned in 1986. So be it.

December 22 2011 at 5:03 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

These are elitist schools that only a certain few students can qualify for. Why not look at small state colleges and jc's, or communitycolleges, something more realistic.

December 01 2011 at 8:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Doctor Jeffrey

My advice to anyone that has high student loan debt, is to if all possible to spend the money approx 4 to 5 thousand and get a trade as a truck driver. Basically get your CDL license. Depending on which company a person will work for, they will earn at least 45,000 to 50,000 dollars with lots of overtime. I paid for my community college degree by working full time and going to school part time. Then when I eventually worked full time and went full time online to finish my bachelors degree.

December 01 2011 at 9:01 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Yippee!!! More priveledge for the priveledged!!

December 01 2011 at 1:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It used to be that people worked their way through school or at least worked and paid for some of it.

December 01 2011 at 1:00 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

My name is Kay and i'm using some one else's computer so please forgive the goofs they're mine.
1) What exactly are the grads. / students getting for the money they've spent at these schools? (My experience is the dumb dumb pill. They locked into a cookie cutter and can't adapt.)
2) What percentage of people in this country can actually dream of college? (The majority can't since 1970 something.)
3) What did our indentured servants (D.O.D.'s enlisted) Have to give up permantly to obtain goverment funding?
4) What exactly did the authors of this artcle think was aplicable to the current economy and population of the U.S.?
So far I've got more questions than this space will allow me to comment / type in.

December 01 2011 at 12:26 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
hey kiki i luv u

College debt really IS a huge problem. I went to the University of Denver and the few students (including myself) who weren't able to pay the 50k tuition out of pocket (via mommy and daddy) were stuck with a HUGE pile of debt. I myself have about 15k, but that's only because I was able to graduate in 2 years and scrounged for every scholarship I could find.

December 01 2011 at 12:23 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

I had no debt when I got my undergraduate degree. The same plan worked for my graduate degree. Here it is.... raise your right hand and repeat after me.... I swear to uphold and defend the constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic..... How about all these whiners enlist and serve their country. Uncle Sam will pick up the cost of their educations. When I hear all of these protesters and read stories like this I have two words BOO HOO! For this same reason I hire Veterans. They are better educated in the ways of life, have more initiative, require less supervision, don't complain and are better leaders. They work harder and are not whiners. Don't forget, hire a Vet!

November 30 2011 at 10:57 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Matt White

Princeton and other top Ivy league schools do not give scholarships for anything other financial need. They have a very broad definition of "need" that allows over 70% of the students to qualify, with an average grant being close to $40,000. These are no longer just schools for rich, boarding school elitists. The diversity at Princeton would put most large state schools to shame. The Ivies should be applauded for how much they have opened their doors to smart kids from every background.

November 30 2011 at 9:27 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Matt White's comment

The problem is that the very wealthy can afford a tuition as high as Princeton's. The smart kids who have nothing get financial aid. Those in the middle cannot afford the high tuition and don't qualify for money. The barbell classes are becoming more typical. That's not really as fair as it sounds. When the federal government is involved in giving out money and the wealthy pay full freight, colleges are just happy to get their money and continue to raise their costs. It's absurd. We had a kid start at Vanderbilt in 2003. It was $40,000 (everything included). Now, the cost is $60,000. what else has increased at that rate except our national debt?

January 31 2013 at 4:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Who came up with this skewed topic? When only 20% (1K) of undergrads are in need of borrowing 50G's (yrly) for edu...guess what?

November 30 2011 at 9:19 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply