22 Colleges Where the Most Students Borrow Private Loans

When aid falls short, some students turn to private loans.

Financial aid experts often encourage students to exhaust all available federal student loans before borrowing private loans, which typically carry a higher interest rate and have fewer borrower protections. But federal financial aid often isn’t enough to cover college expenses. In 2019-2020, undergraduate and graduate students received about $14 billion in nonfederal loans to pay for school, according to a 2020 College Board report — representing a 48% increase over the last decade. While a few schools promise to meet every undergraduate’s full financial need without loans, on the other end of the spectrum, at some colleges it is very common for students to turn to private loans. Keep reading to see the 22 colleges, including ties, where the largest percentage of graduating students in 2019 borrowed private loans from a bank or lender, per U.S. News data.

Keene State College (NH)

Percent of 2019 graduates who borrowed private student loans: 34%

Average private student loan debt among 2019 graduates: $39,865

U.S. News rank and category: 9 (tie), Regional Colleges (North)

More about Keene State College.

Keuka College (NY)

Percent of 2019 graduates who borrowed private student loans: 34%

Average private student loan debt among 2019 graduates: $44,705

U.S. News rank and category: 121 (tie), Regional Universities (North)

More about Keuka College.

Mansfield University of Pennsylvania

Percent of 2019 graduates who borrowed private student loans: 34%

Average private student loan debt among 2019 graduates: $37,253

U.S. News rank and category: 171-221, National Liberal Arts Colleges

More about Mansfield University of Pennsylvania.

Thomas College (ME)

Percent of 2019 graduates who borrowed private student loans: 34%

Average private student loan debt among 2019 graduates: $10,984

U.S. News rank and category: 136-176, Regional Universities (North)

More about Thomas College.

Washington and Jefferson College (PA)

Percent of 2019 graduates who borrowed private student loans: 34%

Average private student loan debt among 2019 graduates: $54,092

U.S. News rank and category: 96 (tie), National Liberal Arts Colleges

More about Washington and Jefferson College.

College of St. Scholastica (MN)

Percent of 2019 graduates who borrowed private student loans: 35%

Average private student loan debt among 2019 graduates: $34,334

U.S. News rank and category: 258 (tie), National Universities

More about College of St. Scholastica.

Lasell University (MA)

Percent of 2019 graduates who borrowed private student loans: 35%

Average private student loan debt among 2019 graduates: $39,263

U.S. News rank and category: 125 (tie), Regional Universities (North)

More about Lasell University.

Southern New Hampshire University

Percent of 2019 graduates who borrowed private student loans: 35%

Average private student loan debt among 2019 graduates: $44,684

U.S. News rank and category: 75 (tie), Regional Universities (North)

More about Southern New Hampshire University.

Gwynedd Mercy University (PA)

Percent of 2019 graduates who borrowed private student loans: 36%

Average private student loan debt among 2019 graduates: $34,773

U.S. News rank and category: 113 (tie), Regional Universities (North)

More about Gwynedd Mercy University.

Huntington University (IN)

Percent of 2019 graduates who borrowed private student loans: 37%

Average private student loan debt among 2019 graduates: $14,901

U.S. News rank and category: 44 (tie), Regional Universities (Midwest)

More about Huntington University.

Neumann University (PA)

Percent of 2019 graduates who borrowed private student loans: 38%

Average private student loan debt among 2019 graduates: $35,532

U.S. News rank and category: 132 (tie), Regional Universities (North)

More about Neumann University.

York College of Pennsylvania

Percent of 2019 graduates who borrowed private student loans: 38%

Average private student loan debt among 2019 graduates: $40,249

U.S. News rank and category: 93 (tie), Regional Universities (North)

More about York College of Pennsylvania.

Elms College (MA)

Percent of 2019 graduates who borrowed private student loans: 39%

Average private student loan debt among 2019 graduates: $42,449

U.S. News rank and category: 93 (tie), Regional Universities (North)

More about Elms College.

Misericordia University (PA)

Percent of 2019 graduates who borrowed private student loans: 39%

Average private student loan debt among 2019 graduates: $43,118

U.S. News rank and category: 206 (tie), National Universities

More about Misericordia University.

Wilkes University (PA)

Percent of 2019 graduates who borrowed private student loans: 39%

Average private student loan debt among 2019 graduates: $41,251

U.S. News rank and category: 217 (tie), National Universities

More about Wilkes University.

Kettering University (MI)

Percent of 2019 graduates who borrowed private student loans: 40%

Average private student loan debt among 2019 graduates: $43,070

U.S. News rank and category: 9, Regional Universities (Midwest)

More about Kettering University.

Nazareth College (NY)

Percent of 2019 graduates who borrowed private student loans: 40%

Average private student loan debt among 2019 graduates: $48,660

U.S. News rank and category: 45 (tie), Regional Universities (North)

More about Nazareth College.

Tuskegee University (AL)

Percent of 2019 graduates who borrowed private student loans: 41%

Average private student loan debt among 2019 graduates: $15,000

U.S. News rank and category: 20, Regional Universities (South)

More about Tuskegee University.

University of New England (ME)

Percent of 2019 graduates who borrowed private student loans: 42%

Average private student loan debt among 2019 graduates: $51,885

U.S. News rank and category: 249 (tie), National Universities

More about the University of New England.

San Jose State University (CA)

Percent of 2019 graduates who borrowed private student loans: 43%

Average private student loan debt among 2019 graduates: $14,823

U.S. News rank and category: 22 (tie), Regional Universities (West)

More about San Jose State University.

Maine Maritime Academy

Percent of 2019 graduates who borrowed private student loans: 47%

Average private student loan debt among 2019 graduates: $60,566

U.S. News rank and category: 4, Regional Colleges (North)

More about Maine Maritime Academy.

Grove City College (PA)

Percent of 2019 graduates who borrowed private student loans: 56%

Average private student loan debt among 2019 graduates: $40,600

U.S. News rank and category: 113 (tie), National Liberal Arts Colleges

More about Grove City College.

Know before you borrow.

Learn more about student loans before signing on the dotted line, and see how the average student loan debt has changed over the last 10 years. And join the conversation by following U.S. News Education on Facebook and Twitter.

Grads from these colleges borrowed private loans at high rates.

— Grove City College: 56%

— Maine Maritime Academy: 47%

— San Jose State University: 43%

— University of New England: 42%

— Tuskegee University: 41%

— Kettering University: 40%

— Nazareth College: 40%

— Elms College: 39%

— Misericordia University: 39%

— Wilkes University: 39%

— Neumann University: 38%

— York College of Pennsylvania: 38%

— Huntington University: 37%

— Gwynedd Mercy University: 36%

— College of St. Scholastica: 35%

— Lasell University: 35%

— Southern New Hampshire University: 35%

— Keene State College: 34%

— Keuka College: 34%

— Mansfield University of Pennsylvania: 34%

— Thomas College: 34%

— Washington and Jefferson College: 34%

More from U.S. News

How to Find Nonfederal Student Loans, Aid Programs

Update on Coronavirus Relief for Student Loan Borrowers

Pros and Cons of Private Student Loans

22 Colleges Where the Most Students Borrow Private Loans originally appeared on usnews.com

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