The 5 Colleges That Leave The Most Students Crippled By Debt
There was a time when going to college was seen as an investment in your future. Today, it’s more like a gamble—one that leaves many students with crippling debt and no way out. And while the numbers are staggering, they don’t tell the whole story. Some schools leave their graduates much worse off than others; some make it easier for students to pay back their loans; and some programs do both! If you’re looking for an affordable education that won’t destroy your finances forever, here are five colleges that leave their students crippled by debt:
University of Phoenix
Perhaps you’ve heard of the University of Phoenix. It’s one of the largest universities in the country, with more than 200 campuses and nearly 400,000 students across the country. Unfortunately for its students, however, it also has some of the highest student loan default rates in America. On top of that, only 14% of its graduates leave with a degree or certificate within six years—which is not only bad news for anyone graduating from there but also means that many students will end up paying back their loans without ever seeing any benefit from their education.
American InterContinental University
On the college’s own website, you can see that they have an average tuition and fees of $6,555 per year. The average student will incur over $24,000 in loans to attend this school and graduate with a degree in business administration or similar field (according to College Scorecard). This is not counting any debt incurred from living expenses while at school.
American InterContinental University has a default rate of 22% on student loans—the highest among all schools surveyed by Credible’s analysis. The repayment rate for graduates of American InterContinental University was 37%, which means that almost half of their students default on their loans within 7 years after graduation (according to Student Loan Hero).
Argosy University is a for-profit college that has an annual tuition of $33,400 and uses a cohort default rate method to measure student loan repayment. The college’s student loan default rate is 12%.
It ranks #3 in our list of colleges that leave their students crippled by debt because its students have an average student loan balance of $48,853 upon graduation. This figure includes both federal and private student loans as well as any loans or aid that the student receives from their school.
Walden University is a for-profit college that offers online and on-campus programs. The school is owned by Laureate Education. Walden University is ranked as the worst college in America, according to Business Insider and US News & World Report. Walden has a student loan default rate of 16.6%, which is more than triple the national average of 5%. When compared with other schools, Walden also has one of the highest tuition rates in America — $47,890 per year for undergraduate students who live on campus (and $40,000 for those living off campus).
If you’re looking for a college that leaves its students with the most debt, this is it. Kaplan University is owned by Kaplan, Inc., a company that earns revenues of over $1 billion per year and employs more than 20,000 people worldwide. It’s one of the largest for-profit colleges in America—and one of the most hated by students.
Kaplan University has been ranked #1 on The Princeton Review’s list of “The 50 Worst Colleges” for three years running (2010-2012). The college has an average overall student rating of two stars on Google Reviews with students complaining about everything from curriculum issues to financial aid problems to poor job placement results and bad customer service from university staff members
Roughly 43 million Americans are in student loan debt.
You’ve probably heard about the student loan debt crisis and have a general idea of how bad it is; roughly 43 million Americans are in student loan debt, which averages to $37,172 for those who owe. But what you may not know is that this problem has gotten worse over time. Student loan debt used to be a rare occurrence when I was growing up, but now it’s basically normal for someone my age to have outstanding loans from their time at college or graduate school.
The average student loan debt of households headed by someone under 35 years old increased by almost 30% between 2004 and 2014, according to data from Pew Research Center. And while there are many factors that contribute to the growth of this trend—tuition hikes being one major factor—the rising cost of higher education has certainly contributed greatly in terms of creating an environment where students need more financial support than ever before just so they can continue pursuing their degree without worrying about how they’ll pay off their loans after graduation day arrives [and leaves].
The takeaway? While we’re all looking for the right college, it’s important to consider how much debt you might be taking on in the process. After all, a student loan will follow you through your adult life and can impact everything from buying a home to thinking about starting a family. But if you are considering one of these schools, make sure that they do offer scholarships and other financial aid options before signing up for any loans.