This database was last updated in March 2017 and should only be used as a historical snapshot. More recent data is available from the U.S. Dept. of Education’s College Scorecard.
Though Pell Grant money is crucial, attending college can still require large student loans if a prospective student doesn’t choose a school carefully. Data only for students who receive any federal aid.
|Income Level||Avg. Cost|
Especially if students are not pursuing potentially lucrative majors, such as so-called STEM disciplines or law, their school choices can have a big effect on their income and ability to pay off college debt. Recent graduates can fall behind on their loans quickly, and unlike other kinds of debt, student loans are not forgiven through bankruptcy.
Drop-Outs Have Debt Too
Students who drop out of school still have to pay back the loans they took out. This can be a double whammy for them: With large debts to pay off and no college degrees, their career options are limited and their expected earnings are lower.
The choices 18 year olds make about where to go to school — and how much debt to take on to pay for it — matter enormously over the long haul. Although everybody knows this instinctively, the U.S. Department of Education worked with Treasury Department data to work out the details, including, for each school, average salary and debt levels 10 years after students enter school.
How Graduates Fare 3 Years After Graduation
A new measure, the nonrepayment rate, includes all students who are unable to pay off any of the principal on their student loans. The traditional measure, the default rate, does not include students who may be in deferment or forbearance. Federal loans only.
How Students Fare 10 Years After Entering School
This includes salary data starting 10 years after a student enters school. Typically this means 6 years after graduation, but some students take longer to complete school. Data only for students who have received federal aid.
About the School
In 2014, Columbia University in the City of New York had a 7% admissions rate. It had 8,100 undergraduate students, 7% of which were part-time. 25.6% of its undergraduates took out federal loans.