Study Looks at Value of Borrowing for College

Monday, 08 Aug 2011 06:14 AM

By T.M. Golub

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A new report from the think tank Education Sector outlines a new way to determine the value of a college degree compared to debt incurred to get the education, the education website reports.
The study, “Debt to Degree: A New Way of Measuring College Success,” delineates the “borrowing-to-credential ratio,” which is used to determine whether higher education is a good value when taking into account loans, says the website of The Chronicle of Higher Education.
The authors take the amount borrowed to finance an undergraduate degree and divide it by the number of credentials awarded by a college in a particular year.
Given U.S. Department of Education figures for 2008-09, the most recent data available for each degree produced, students and their parents borrowed an average of $18,102 through federal programs with that average rising from past years, the study notes.
Across the spectrum of schools offering higher education, the average ratio of money borrowed to degrees received for public four-year schools was $16,247;  $21,827 for private institutions, and  $43,383 at for-profit colleges.
Education Sector is an independent think tank “that challenges conventional thinking in education policy,” the Chronicle says.

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