8 Colleges With Low-Debt Grads

Consider one of these schools if you’d like to avoid being in debt until you’re fifty.

By Sydney Nikols | February 17, 2017

Photo: Thinkstock

According to U.S. News and World Report, students from the following schools came away with the lowest average debt in 2011. Read on to discover which colleges will help you maintain both financial stability and overall sanity after you get your degree.

Berea College offers students on-campus jobs in exchange for free tuition.

1. Alice Lloyd College

Average Student Debt: $3,750
Students With Loans: 34%
How They Keep Debt Down: Alice Lloyd College grants free tuition to students from the Central Appalachian region. For those of you who understandably have no idea where that is, it’s an area that includes parts of Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia, Ohio and Tennessee.

2. Princeton University

Average Student Debt: $5,000
Students With Loans: 25%
How They Keep Debt Down: Princeton University has an incredible financial aid program that includes generous and individualized need-based packages, no loans for students to pay back, full funding for studying abroad, and a free online application. Oh, and we don’t know if you’ve heard of it, but it’s also considered a pretty good school.

Princeton students dive into schoolwork with the confidence that their college loans won't break the bank.

3. College of the Ozarks

Average Student Debt: $7,062
Students With Loans: 12%
How They Keep Debt Down: College of the Ozarks literally all doesn’t allow you to accrue debt: they refuse to accept federal and private loans and give financial assistance in the form of scholarships and on-campus job opportunities instead. Wasn’t it kind of them to jump in and save you from yourself?

4. Berea College

Average Student Debt: $7,661
Students With Loans: 77%
How They Keep Debt Down: Berea College offers students on-campus jobs in exchange for free tuition. We’re hoping they also hand out bumper stickers that say “Will Work for Degree.”

5. Williams College

Average Student Debt: $8,801
Students With Loans: 44%
How They Keep Debt Down: Williams College provides no-loan financial aid to students whose families make less than $75,000 a year, and they employ about 1,400 students in on-campus jobs as a way to let them work off tuition. Oh, and U.S. News and World Report ranked them the number one liberal arts college in the country. So, you know…nothing to see here.

6. Yale University


Average Student Debt: $8,940
Students With Loans: 23%
How They Keep Debt Down: Yale University is able to keep debt at bay by maintaining a no-loan policy for financial aid packages, meaning that students are allowed to take out loans but aren’t encouraged or required to do so. Actually, more than two thirds choose not to, proving all those “Yale students are smart” rumors true.

Yale's beautiful campus seems all the more lovely once you know that going there won't cost you an arm and a leg.
Photo: Yale.edu

7. University of Maine, Fort Kent

Average Student Debt: $9,505
Students With Loans: 65%
How They Keep Debt Down: A full 83.1 percent of University of Maine-Fort Kent undergrads receive need-based financial aid, lessening the need for loans. We never thought we’d say this, but that percentage is on absolute fire.

8. Tennessee Technological University

Average Student Debt: $9,952
Students With Loans: 47%
How They Keep Debt Down: Tennessee Technological University makes an effort to save money rather than shift financial burdens to students – over the last couple of years, its economic plan has caused for yearly savings of around 1.5 million. Hey TTU, wanna help us manage our own personal bank accounts?

Just think: with all that money you’re saving, you could pull out a loan for a fabulous European vacation! (We’re totally kidding. Don’t get any ideas, okay? Seriously.)

People Who Ready This Article Also Read:

How to Keep Debt Low
Financial Aid by State: Scholarships, Grants and Student Loans
Are There Weird Scholarships Out There for Me?
Athletic Scholarships: The Basics

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