Study Examines Six-Figure Student Debtors

August 2, 2012

Only about 0.2 percent of undergraduates finish college with more than $100,000 in student debt, even though that group has received considerable media and public attention, from the Occupy movement to The New York Times, according to a new analysis. (Among graduate and professional students, about 6 percent graduate with six-figure debt.) The study, by Mark Kantrowitz, publisher of Finaid.org, finds that most of the undergraduate borrowers attended colleges that cost more than $30,000 per year, and the majority -- about three-quarters -- attended private nonprofit colleges. Kantrowitz's analysis is based on data from the National Postsecondary Student Aid Study. Students majoring in architecture, theology and history were more likely than those in other majors to graduate with high debt. Nearly one-third of students borrowing more than $100,000 came from families whose income was at least $100,000 per year.

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