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SUNY grads owe less debt than private-college students

Students at State University of New York campuses were less likely to take out federal loans than students at private colleges and they typically left school with less debt than their counterparts at nonprofit private institutions. Loan repayment rates varied by SUNY school, with a low of 43 percent at SUNY Empire State College and a high of 81 percent at SUNY Downstate Medical Center and at Upstate Medical University. Downstate Medical Center institutions also had the lowest debt to earnings percentage, with 1.5 percent of graduates’ median earnings going toward federal student loan debt. SUNY Potsdam had the highest at 8.3 percent.

Among SUNY colleges, Geneseo enrolled the wealthiest students, with a median family income of $84,076, making it one of the 20 wealthiest student bodies in the state. Geneseo also had the smallest percentage of its students receiving Pell grants, aside from the Downstate Medical Center. Empire State College enrolled students with the lowest median family income at $32,531. Morrisville State College had the highest percentage of students receiving Pell grants. Binghamton University’s 80 percent graduation rate was the highest among SUNY institutions; Empire State College was the lowest at 28 percent.

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

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