A Leg Up: How A Privileged Minority Is Graduating Without Debt

TR Number
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title

The rapid and unrelenting rise in student debt over the past decade has put college affordability and student loan policy at the forefront of the national political conversation. As policymakers begin to develop comprehensive proposals, it’s important to understand which students are currently able to graduate without debt. If nearly 70 percent of graduates are borrowing, 30 percent (including 35 percent of public college graduates) are not. Who are these students? What type of family or financial resources do they have at their disposal? What are their work habits? In short, what does it take to graduate debt-free these days? This brief will answer these questions, allowing for a deeper understanding of what levers, policies and practices will be necessary to ensure all students can attend a state college or university without taking on debt.

Education, Higher--United States--Costs, college costs, low-income students, student loans, educational debt, graduation rates