While Georgetown student debt in 2011 was slightly higher than the national average, a lower overall proportion of its students were in debt.
According to a study released Oct. 18 by the Institute for College Access and Success, approximately 66 percent of 2011 American college graduates had student debt, which averaged $26,600 per student. In contrast, the study found that only 39 percent of Georgetown students graduated with debt, with an average of $28,035 per borrower in 2011. This figure represents a 10.7 percent increase over the 2010 average debt of $25,315, with the percentage of students in debt remaining unchanged.
The study broke down average student debt by state as well as by institution. The District of Columbia had the ninth highest level of debt, with 52 percent of students graduating from D.C. schools saddled with an average of $28,241 in debt. The George Washington University had an average student debt of $32,714, with 45 percent of students facing debt. Students at American University had the highest debt levels in the District in 2011, soaring to $37,674 and affecting 58 percent of students.
Schools with the highest student debts included Kentucky State University, Temple University and La Salle University, each of which had average student debts between $31,900 and $45,100.
In comparison, colleges and universities that had the lowest debt included Yale, Princeton and Williams College with student debts averaging between $3,000 and $9,750.
According to Scott Fleming (F ’72), associate vice president for federal relations, the university tries to work with students to minimize the amount of debt they will carry come graduation day.
Georgetown’s recently launched Capital Campaign seeks to raise $1.5 billion, a part of which will be used for student scholarships. In particular, the new 1789 Scholarship fund will raise money for 1,789 new scholarships.
“The university continues its efforts to increase Georgetown scholarship funding, including making funds for Georgetown scholarships a major focus of the ongoing Capital Campaign,” Fleming said. “Increasing the pool of resources available for Georgetown’s scholarships, along with our work in the federal relations office to maintain strong federal grant aid programs, including Pell Grants and Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants, is designed to hold down the loan component of Georgetown financial aid packages.”