August 22, 2014
UT Dallas Graduates Among Those with the Least Student Debt in the Country
Sept. 10, 2013
Fixed tuition and ensuring class availability are two strategies the University has employed to help students contend with college costs.
UT Dallas undergraduates graduate with less debt than most students in the country, according to new data from U.S. News & World Report.
UT Dallas also has one of the lowest percentages of graduates who carry debt after graduation, the report found.
According to the magazine, 36 percent of UT Dallas undergraduate alumni who graduated in 2012 owed payment on loans taken out to support their education. Their average amount of debt, which included the cumulative amount borrowed by students who incurred debt, was $17,516.
Colin Phillips, a political science junior, said he wanted to avoid debt during his undergraduate years as he prepares for law school.
Recent federal government and non-profit reports show the national average student debt after graduation to be about $26,000.
The data place UT Dallas among the top 10 universities in the country with the fewest students carrying debt. The report measured the amount of loans taken out by students from their colleges, private financial institutions and from federal, state and local governments.
Data gathered from the graduating class of 2012 showed UT Dallas to be one of only two Texas universities listed in the top 10 and one of four Texas universities in the entire list of 26.
“UT Dallas as an institution is very mindful of the need to assist students in moving toward successful completion of their degrees,” said President David E. Daniel. “Our fixed tuition program incentivizes completion, and our faculty and advising staff work together to ensure the course availability and to make sure individual students get the learning resources they need to succeed. Their efforts are a big factor in limiting or eliminating the need to borrow for college.”
Top 10 Universities with the Least Student Debt at Graduation
|School||% of Grads with Debt||Average Debt|
|Princeton University||24%||$ 5,096|
|Yale University||17%||$ 10,742|
|Harvard University||25%||$ 13,098|
|Brigham Young Univ.-Provo||31%||$14,377|
|California Institute of Technology||44%||$ 15,090|
|University of Houston||47%||$ 16,582|
|U. of North Carolina-Chapel Hill||35%||$ 16,983|
|Vanderbilt University||34%||$ 17,349|
|University of Buffalo-SUNY||45%||$ 17,449|
|University of Texas at Dallas||36%||$ 17,516|
Colin Phillips, a junior political science major, says financial concerns were a major factor for him in deciding where to attend college.
Growing up in Richardson, Texas, Phillips attended Plano schools and looked at all financial aid and scholarship options before committing to UT Dallas.
“There were a lot of choices at UT Dallas. I could apply for scholarships and choose work-study programs, which made more sense for me,” Phillips said. “I knew going into college that I wanted to go to law school, so the more I can keep debt down as an undergraduate, the better off I’ll be.”
He ultimately decided to pursue work-study programs and external scholarships.
“Having fixed tuition and knowing what I’ll be paying every year is a big help, too,” Phillips added.
Phillips’s search for options when it came to financing a college degree is a common one, said Dr. Andrew Blanchard, dean of Undergraduate Education at UT Dallas.
“We want to provide our students with choices when it comes to financing their education,” Blanchard said.
Other Texas universities that made the list include the University of Houston, Rice University, and Texas Tech University.
U.S. News also today released a ranking of the top national universities as well as several undergraduate programs including engineering and business. UT Dallas ranked 142 in the first tier of the assessment of more than 1,500 four-year colleges and universities in the nation, moving up one place from last year’s 143. Rankings for specific programs were not available at the time of this posting.