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Big colleges where alumni struggle to pay their loans

  • Brian A Jackson
    1/ Brian A Jackson

    50 big colleges where alumni struggle to pay their loans

    In 1789, U.S. founding father Benjamin Franklin famously penned the following in a letter to the French physicist Jean Baptiste Le Roy: “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” In contemporary times, the expression has been colloquially adapted to serve as a placeholder for any third thing which can be deemed “certain” in life, and in the year 2018, it can be said that nothing in this world can be certain except death, taxes, and student debt.

    Approximately 7 in 10 college graduates leave their school with an average of more than $37,000 in student debt, money which could otherwise be put toward a down payment on a home, a new car, or important early-stage capital in growing a startup. Though this national average is a good marker for the state of student debt at the national level, it is a phenomenon that varies greatly from school to school.

    Using data from Department of Education’s College Scorecard, Stacker compiled a list of the 50 big colleges where alumni struggle most heavily in paying back their student loans. For the purposes of this story, Stacker only considered schools with more than 5,000 undergraduate degree-seeking students that offer bachelor’s degrees, and disregarded online-only colleges. Colleges with online degree plans in addition to full-time students were included. The colleges are ranked according to their respective seven-year repayment rates, or the percentage of graduates who have at least $1 toward their loan principal within seven years of graduation, with the schools yielding the lowest repayment rates higher on the list. Read on to see which major universities’ graduates have the most difficulty absolving their debt.

    Also: Colleges with the best student life in America

  • Jessica Morrow // Wikicommons
    2/ Jessica Morrow // Wikicommons

    #50. University of Michigan-Flint

    Location: Flint, MI
    7-year repayment rate: 68.54%
    Median debt: $27,000
    Undergraduate population: 6,255
    Admissions rate: 73.58%


     

  • Ken Lund // Flickr
    3/ Ken Lund // Flickr

    #49. Georgia State University

    Location: Atlanta, GA
    7-year repayment rate: 68.28%
    Median debt: $23,699
    Undergraduate population: 24,421
    Admissions rate: 56.65%


     

  • Tdorante10 // Wikicommons
    4/ Tdorante10 // Wikicommons

    #48. City University of New York (CUNY) Lehman College

    Location: Bronx, NY
    7-year repayment rate: 68.26%
    Median debt: $10,200
    Undergraduate population: 9,874
    Admissions rate: 29.95%


     

  • James Michael DuPont // Wikicommons
    5/ James Michael DuPont // Wikicommons

    #47. Thomas Edison State University

    Location: Trenton, NJ
    7-year repayment rate: 68.25%
    Median debt: $10,750
    Undergraduate population: 12,283
    Admissions rate: N/A


     

  • Professorcornbread // Wikicommons
    6/ Professorcornbread // Wikicommons

    #46. CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice

    Location: New York, NY
    7-year repayment rate: 68.01%
    Median debt: $10,000
    Undergraduate population: 12,545
    Admissions rate: 36.55%


     

  • Flint, Michigan — Blueskiesfalling // Wikicommons
    7/ Flint, Michigan — Blueskiesfalling // Wikicommons

    #45. Baker College

    Location: Flint, MI
    7-year repayment rate: 67.66%
    Median debt: $23,971.50
    Undergraduate population: 22,816
    Admissions rate: N/A


     

  • dpursoo // Wikicommons
    8/ dpursoo // Wikicommons

    #44. Marshall University

    Location: Huntington, WV
    7-year repayment rate: 67.5%
    Median debt: $23,134.50
    Undergraduate population: 8,780
    Admissions rate: 87.9%


     

  • Orlando, Florida — Bill Dickinson // Wikicommons
    9/ Orlando, Florida — Bill Dickinson // Wikicommons

    #43. Valencia College

    Location: Orlando, FL
    7-year repayment rate: 67.06%
    Median debt: $8,250
    Undergraduate population: 37,925
    Admissions rate: N/A


     

  • Michael Barera // Wikicommons
    10/ Michael Barera // Wikicommons

    #42. Texas A&M University-Commerce

    Location: Commerce, TX
    7-year repayment rate: 66.72%
    Median debt: $20,514.50
    Undergraduate population: 7,857
    Admissions rate: 47.44%


     

  • Michael Rivera // Wikicommons
    11/ Michael Rivera // Wikicommons

    #41. Florida State College at Jacksonville

    Location: Jacksonville, FL
    7-year repayment rate: 66.64%
    Median debt: $10,500
    Undergraduate population: 21,565
    Admissions rate: N/A


     

  • Phillip Pessar // Flickr
    12/ Phillip Pessar // Flickr

    #40. Miami Dade College

    Location: Miami, FL
    7-year repayment rate: 66.41%
    Median debt: $8,703
    Undergraduate population: 57,884
    Admissions rate: N/A


     

  • Ebyabe // Wikicommons
    13/ Ebyabe // Wikicommons

    #39. Santa Fe College

    Location: Gainesville, FL
    7-year repayment rate: 66.18%
    Median debt: $11,025
    Undergraduate population: 13,291
    Admissions rate: N/A


     

  • Lake Worth, Florida pictured here — Nuggetboy // Wikicommons
    14/ Lake Worth, Florida pictured here — Nuggetboy // Wikicommons

    #38. Palm Beach State College

    Location: Lake Worth, FL
    7-year repayment rate: 65.98%
    Median debt: $5,750
    Undergraduate population: 26,351
    Admissions rate: N/A


     

  • Fort Pierce, Florida pictured — Don Ramey Logan // Wikicommons
    15/ Fort Pierce, Florida pictured — Don Ramey Logan // Wikicommons

    #37. Indian River State College

    Location: Fort Pierce, FL
    7-year repayment rate: 65.82%
    Median debt: $6,709
    Undergraduate population: 14,403
    Admissions rate: N/A


     

  • California State University-Dominguez Hills
    16/ California State University-Dominguez Hills

    #36. California State University-Dominguez Hills

    Location: Carson, CA
    7-year repayment rate: 65.78%
    Median debt: $13,962
    Undergraduate population: 12,584
    Admissions rate: 52.77%


     

  • Seminole State College of Florida
    17/ Seminole State College of Florida

    #35. Seminole State College of Florida

    Location: Sanford, FL
    7-year repayment rate: 65.77%
    Median debt: $10,027
    Undergraduate population: 15,747
    Admissions rate: N/A


     

  • Ft. Lauderdale pictured here — Public Domain // WIkicommons
    18/ Ft. Lauderdale pictured here — Public Domain // WIkicommons

    #34. Broward College

    Location: Fort Lauderdale, FL
    7-year repayment rate: 65.76%
    Median debt: $6,000
    Undergraduate population: 38,474
    Admissions rate: N/A


     

  • Amerique // Wikicommons
    19/ Amerique // Wikicommons

    #33. California State University, San Bernardino

    Location: San Bernardino, CA
    7-year repayment rate: 65.57%
    Median debt: $16,500
    Undergraduate population: 17,518
    Admissions rate: 64.59%


     

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    #32. Columbus State University

    Location: Columbus, GA
    7-year repayment rate: 65.11%
    Median debt: $26,000
    Undergraduate population: 6,743
    Admissions rate: 55.69%


     

  • Thomson200 // Wikicommons
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    #31. Clayton State University

    Location: Morrow, GA
    7-year repayment rate: 64.98%
    Median debt: $27,500
    Undergraduate population: 5,920
    Admissions rate: 38.57%


     

  • Royalbroil // Wikicommons
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    #30. Rasmussen College-Florida

    Location: Ocala, WI
    7-year repayment rate: 64.82%
    Median debt: $19,596.50
    Undergraduate population: 7,352
    Admissions rate: N/A


     

  • CityofStPete // Flickr
    23/ CityofStPete // Flickr

    #29. St. Petersburg College

    Location: Clearwater, FL
    7-year repayment rate: 64.8%
    Median debt: $16,249
    Undergraduate population: 27,354
    Admissions rate: N/A


     

  • Mercy College
    24/ Mercy College

    #28. Mercy College

    Location: Dobbs Ferry, NY
    7-year repayment rate: 64.35%
    Median debt: $23,699
    Undergraduate population: 6,410
    Admissions rate: 65.69%


     

  • Fourbuttons // Wikicommons
    25/ Fourbuttons // Wikicommons

    #27. Full Sail University

    Location: Winter Park, FL
    7-year repayment rate: 63.95%
    Median debt: $31,666
    Undergraduate population: 17,804
    Admissions rate: N/A


     

  • MegsCommons // Wikicommons
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    #26. CUNY York College

    Location: Jamaica, NY
    7-year repayment rate: 63.85%
    Median debt: $8,800
    Undergraduate population: 7,264
    Admissions rate: 40.5%


     

  • Public Domain // Wikicommons
    27/ Public Domain // Wikicommons

    #25. University of Memphis

    Location: Memphis, TN
    7-year repayment rate: 62.82%
    Median debt: $25,250
    Undergraduate population: 15,553
    Admissions rate: 39.78%


     

  • Maureen.allen // Wikicommons
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    #24. Prairie View A&M University

    Location: Prairie View, TX
    7-year repayment rate: 62.5%
    Median debt: $28,955
    Undergraduate population: 6,925
    Admissions rate: 85.95%


     

  • COCOAFL // Wikicommons
    29/ COCOAFL // Wikicommons

    #23. Eastern Florida State College

    Location: Cocoa, FL
    7-year repayment rate: 61.9%
    Median debt: $9,000
    Undergraduate population: 12,266
    Admissions rate: N/A


     

  • Thief12 // Wikicommons
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    #22. Universidad Metropolitana

    Location: San Juan, Puerto Rico (PR)
    7-year repayment rate: 61.23%
    Median debt: $8,383
    Undergraduate population: 11,589
    Admissions rate: N/A


     

  • Porkn305 // Wikicommons
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    #21. Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University

    Location: Tallahassee, FL
    7-year repayment rate: 60.95%
    Median debt: $28,500
    Undergraduate population: 7,705
    Admissions rate: 51.41%


     

  • Touro Law Center — MBisanz // Wikicommons
    32/ Touro Law Center — MBisanz // Wikicommons

    #20. Touro College

    Location: New York, NY
    7-year repayment rate: 60.67%
    Median debt: $12,500
    Undergraduate population: 5,965
    Admissions rate: 34.12%


     

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    #19. CUNY Medgar Evers College

    Location: Brooklyn, NY
    7-year repayment rate: 60.47%
    Median debt: $9,033
    Undergraduate population: 6,257
    Admissions rate: 99.16%


     

  • Dwight Burdette // Wikicommons
    34/ Dwight Burdette // Wikicommons

    #18. Davenport University

    Location: Grand Rapids, MI
    7-year repayment rate: 59.55%
    Median debt: $26,750
    Undergraduate population: 5,774
    Admissions rate: 89.23%


     

  • Josh // Wikicommons
    35/ Josh // Wikicommons

    #17. Howard University

    Location: Washington, D.C.
    7-year repayment rate: 58.34%
    Median debt: $27,000
    Undergraduate population: 6,796
    Admissions rate: 49.04%


     

  • Paul Brennan // PublicDomainPictures
    36/ Paul Brennan // PublicDomainPictures

    #16. Tennessee State University

    Location: Nashville, TN
    7-year repayment rate: 58.02%
    Median debt: $28,000
    Undergraduate population: 7,255
    Admissions rate: N/A


     

  • Gurabo pictured — Public Domain // Wikicommons
    37/ Gurabo pictured — Public Domain // Wikicommons

    #15. Universidad del Turabo

    Location: Gurabo, PR
    7-year repayment rate: 57.5%
    Median debt: $8,098
    Undergraduate population: 14,696
    Admissions rate: NA


     

  • Ebyabe // Wikicommons
    38/ Ebyabe // Wikicommons

    #14. Daytona State College

    Location: Daytona Beach, FL
    7-year repayment rate: 57.27%
    Median debt: $8,010
    Undergraduate population: 12,474
    Admissions rate: N/A


     

  • Fayetteville, North Carolina pictured — jalexartis // Flickr
    39/ Fayetteville, North Carolina pictured — jalexartis // Flickr

    #13. Fayetteville State University

    Location: Fayetteville, NC
    7-year repayment rate: 56.71%
    Median debt: $22,161
    Undergraduate population: 5,087
    Admissions rate: 60.39%


     

  • TSU Science Center — Broadmoor // Wikicommons
    40/ TSU Science Center — Broadmoor // Wikicommons

    #12. Texas Southern University

    Location: Houston, TX
    7-year repayment rate: 55.84%
    Median debt: $29,358
    Undergraduate population: 6,696
    Admissions rate: 50.9%


     

  • 2C2KPhotography // Flickr
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    #11. Jackson State University

    Location: Jackson, MS
    7-year repayment rate: 55.61%
    Median debt: $29,000
    Undergraduate population: 7,436
    Admissions rate: 67.52%


     

  • The College of Central Florida // Wikicommons
    42/ The College of Central Florida // Wikicommons

    #10. College of Central Florida

    Location: Ocala, FL
    7-year repayment rate: 55.24%
    Median debt: $10,187.50
    Undergraduate population: 6,670
    Admissions rate: N/A


     

  • Jerjes Medina Albino // Wikicommons
    43/ Jerjes Medina Albino // Wikicommons

    #9. Universidad del Este

    Location: Carolina, PR
    7-year repayment rate: 52.85%
    Median debt: $7,250
    Undergraduate population: 11,825
    Admissions rate: N/A


     

  • Michael Rivera // Wikicommons
    44/ Michael Rivera // Wikicommons

    #8. Keiser University-Fort Lauderdale

    Location: Fort Lauderdale, FL
    7-year repayment rate: 52.3%
    Median debt: $25,750
    Undergraduate population: 15,023
    Admissions rate: N/A


     

  • PUCPR School of Law — Roca Ruiz // Wikicommons
    45/ PUCPR School of Law — Roca Ruiz // Wikicommons

    #7. Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico-Ponce

    Location: Ponce, PR
    7-year repayment rate: 51.51%
    Median debt: $12,559.50
    Undergraduate population: 5,427
    Admissions rate: 76.77%


     

  • Bw2217a // Wikicommons
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    #6. North Carolina A&T State University

    Location: Greensboro, NC
    7-year repayment rate: 50.51%
    Median debt: $29,000
    Undergraduate population: 9,036
    Admissions rate: 60.48%


     

  • Stephreef // Wikicommons
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    #5. Morgan State University

    Location: Baltimore, MD
    7-year repayment rate: 48.7%
    Median debt: $31,000
    Undergraduate population: 6,294
    Admissions rate: 66.72%


     

  • Bill Smith // Flickr
    48/ Bill Smith // Flickr

    #4. ECPI University

    Location: Virginia Beach, VA
    7-year repayment rate: 48.62%
    Median debt: $20,000
    Undergraduate population: 10,979
    Admissions rate: 84.36%


     

  • Shane Seaman // Wikicommons
    49/ Shane Seaman // Wikicommons

    #3. Monroe College

    Location: Bronx, NY
    7-year repayment rate: 48.61%
    Median debt: $20,450
    Undergraduate population: 5,993
    Admissions rate: 45.3%


     

  • Marching Band and Dancers — JMRosenfeld // Wikicommons
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    #2. Southern University and A&M College

    Location: Baton Rouge, LA
    7-year repayment rate: 48.37%
    Median debt: $30,750
    Undergraduate population: 5,226
    Admissions rate: 78.56%


     

  • RDUpedia // Wikiicommons
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    #1. North Carolina Central University

    Location: Durham, NC
    7-year repayment rate: 44.01%
    Median debt: $31,000
    Undergraduate population: 5,797
    Admissions rate: 65.87%


     

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