The Pacific region of the United States includes Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington. This area has a population of 52.8 million, with the majority of that total being accounted for within California’s borders. Some of the largest cities in this region include Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, San Francisco, and Seattle.
Silicon Valley, which is located in the southern San Francisco Bay area of California, has become the technology and start-up hub of the world over the past few decades. Companies such as Apple, Google, and Facebook, which are among the largest and wealthiest internationally, are headquartered in this area. Because of this, elite universities and other institutions of higher learning in the region have become more appealing to intelligent, tech-savvy students interested in entering the field.
This motive exhibited by ambitious students has been justified in recent years. According to a report by Wired.com, the top three feeder colleges to tech giants include the University of Washington, located in Washington State, along with Stanford and UC Berkeley, both of which are in California. These schools offer their students an advantage that only proximity can provide. For Example, Microsoft heavily recruits from numerous colleges in the state of Washington, where it is headquartered.
Because of the proliferation of Silicon Valley and the West Coast in general, the cost of living has risen substantially. This reality paired with exponentially rising college tuition costs has forced students to become bogged down with large amounts of debt.
Recognizing and understanding this persistent occurrence, LendEDU has decided to compile a list that recognizes the top 100 public and private colleges in the Pacific region that leave students with the least amount of student loan debt.
The Top 75 Colleges in the Pacific with the Least Student Debt Per Borrower
LendEDU’s Colleges with the Least Average Debt Per Borrower in the Pacific report was created using licensed data from Peterson’s that reflects the Class of 2016. For reference, the data is released on a one-year delay. The Class of 2017 data will not be available until the Fall of 2018.
The average debt per graduate was calculated by compiling the total debt at each university, divided by the number of bachelor degree recipients at each particular university. The average amount of student loan debt per graduate was then weighted by the number of graduates who had student debt to find the average debt per student loan borrower.
The data was provided on a voluntary basis at the college level by college officials. LendEDU did not audit the accuracy of the college level data.
In order to analyze only institutions in the Pacific region, the universities and colleges included in the study were limited to only those that have physical campuses in any of the following five states: Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington. We then ranked the eligible colleges in order from least to greatest based on the average student loan debt per borrower.
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