Students graduating from Drew University in 2012 had an average student debt of $24,470, lower than many other private and public universities in New Jersey and lower than the state and national average, the university announced in a news release.
A study released Dec. 4 by the nonprofit Institute for College Access & Success called “The Project on Student Debt” found the average student loan debt for a 2012 college graduate was $29,400 nationwide and $29,287 in New Jersey.
Of the New Jersey colleges and universities that participated in the study, 15 had higher student loan debt amounts than Drew. Leading the state in student loan debt are Felician College in Lodi, with an average of $38,598, The College of New Jersey at $33,889 and Rider University at $32,718.
Fairleigh Dickinson University, the College of Saint Elizabeth and Seton Hall University did not participate in the survey.
Renée Volak, director of financial assistance at Drew University, said generous scholarship aid given to Drew students is a factor.
“We give a significant amount in scholarships that allows our student debt to be lower than the average in New Jersey,” Volak said in the release.
She estimated that Drew students received $30 million in scholarships in the 2012-2013 academic year.
Volak said the study serves as a reminder that parents and students should look beyond the cost of tuition at the outset and factor in financial aid and scholarships that may be available.
“It’s worth going through the application process to see what is offered,” she said. “Often I find it costs no more to go to a private school than a higher-priced public school.”Drew University's 2011-12 in-state tuition and fees were $41,304, and the total cost of attendance was $55,862, according to the study.
See the findings here.