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Student Loans Reports

Colleges Where Parents Can Expect the Lowest Amount of Student Loan Debt

Affording college is no small feat. LendEDU estimates that the average cost of one year at a four-year private institution is $50,900, including tuition, room and board, and books. At a public four-year institution, the price for a single year lowers to $40,940. Still nothing to sneeze at. 

So how does one pay for the high, and ever-increasing, cost of college in 2018?

Student loans, scholarships, and grants are popular options, and all can provide valuable assistance to any prospective student struggling to scratch up the funds for higher education. Further, any funds that parents contribute to help pay for college can go a long way. How else can parents help their children?

First, parents can cosign on their child’s student loan. By cosigning, a parent becomes an equal partner with their child in repaying that loan. Each party can make payments and each party can be negatively impacted if a payment is late or missed entirely. 

Second, mom and dad can take out a Parent PLUS Loan or other parent student loans, which are different than cosigning because they are entirely in the hands of the parent; the student has no obligation to repay the student loan, only the parent.

For cash-strapped students, who may also be earning a limited salary upon graduating, Parent PLUS Loans can be tremendously helpful in limiting the amount of student debt they have to take on. Also, parents may be able to eventually transfer the loan to their child through refinancing.

>> Read More: Refinance Parent PLUS Loans

Using licensed data from Peterson’s Undergraduate Financial Aid Database, LendEDU found the colleges and universities where parents of undergraduate students have the least Parent PLUS Loan debt. 

After analyzing data for over 1,000 four-year nonprofit public and private institutions, we were able to find the 500 higher education institutions that do their best to limit student loan debt for parents.

Top 500 Colleges & Universities With the Lowest Student Loan Debt For Parents


The data within this report derives from the Peterson’s Undergraduate Financial Aid Database that was licensed by LendEDU. Data from Peterson’s is voluntarily submitted by U.S. colleges and universities that choose to submit their financial aid information. This particular data reflects financial aid statistics from the 2016/2017 academic year, the most current dataset available. The dataset used here also only includes nonprofit four-year private or public undergraduate universities and colleges. 1,080 universities and colleges submitted their financial aid information for this particular dataset. The data from the third and fourth column from the table above was pulled directly from Peterson’s. The fifth column data was found by dividing the third column by the fourth column.

See more of LendEDU’s Research