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The Southeast region of the United States is comprised of 12 states: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Louisiana, Virginia, West Virginia, Mississippi, Kentucky and Tennessee.
In recent decades, the economic environment in these states has evolved immensely. Large businesses in the fields of manufacturing, technology, finance, and biomedical research, just to name a few, have opened and thrived throughout the region.
In addition to a growing economy, the Southeast region of the U.S. has increased considerably in population. Today, about 87 million people reside in these states. Many have been drawn to the South because of its desirable climate, appealing lifestyle, and various economic opportunities. For example, many people retire and move to Florida to escape the colder climate of the North. Also, in recent years it has become a trend for businesses and corporations to leave the high tax environments of northern cities and move south.
The Southeast is also home to many reputable colleges and universities. For example, Duke University in North Carolina is often ranked among the best universities in the world due to its top-tier research programs. Duke is the seventh wealthiest private university in the country.
Besides warm weather and the opportunity for a top-notch education, the Southeast region is also known for its athletic programs. The SEC (Southeastern Conference) is a Division l NCAA participant and has established a widely recognized tradition of winning and accomplishment in sports. Students from all over the U.S. are attracted to the universities in this conference, not only to play sports, but to simply cheer on the teams. According to sbnation.com, SEC schools averaged about $130 million in revenue due to sports in 2015-2016.
The Southeast region is undoubtedly drawing students from all over the U.S. to its colleges. However, both in-state and out-of-state tuition costs for these schools have risen substantially over the past few decades.
In light of this, LendEDU decided to dig into the data and highlight the schools that are leaving students with the smallest amounts of debt. We have compiled a list that recognizes 75 public and private colleges in the Southeast region for their low average student loan debt per borrower figures.
Top 75 Colleges in the Southeast with the Least Student Debt Per Borrower
LendEDU’s Colleges with the Least Average Debt Per Borrower in the Southeast 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 Southeast region, the universities and colleges included in the study were limited to only those that have physical campuses in any of the following twelve states: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Louisiana, Virginia, West Virginia, Mississippi, Kentucky, and Tennessee. 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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