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Pricey, selective private schools – with wealthier students – record best loan repayments

Twenty-two of the 25 colleges and universities in the state with the highest loan repayment rates were private non-profit institutions. Those institutions also tended to charge the most tuition, enroll the wealthiest students and graduate them at rates above 75 percent.

Thirteen of the 22 schools admitted fewer than four out of every 10 applicants, including Columbia University, which accepted just seven percent of applicants. Fourteen of the 22 schools had students from families with median incomes of at least $90,000.

High-profile colleges and universities also had high price tags – most of them more than $55,000 per year. How much students actually paid varied by institution.

With room and board factored in, Cornell, Columbia, Vassar, Skidmore and Colgate cost nearly $60,000 to attend. The cost of attendance for Hilbert College is less than half that amount. But students from families making no more than $30,000 paid less on average to attend Cornell, Skidmore and Colgate than students in the same income bracket who enrolled at Hilbert.

At the same time, those highly selective schools enrolled relatively few students who were eligible to receive federal Pell grants, an indicator of how much a college improves the socioeconomic mobility of its students.

Student loan debt by the numbers: A school-by-school breakdown

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