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Student Loans Reports

The 100 Small Public Colleges with the Least Student Loan Debt Per Borrower

Opposed to universities in some other countries, many public colleges in the United States have a history of burdening their students with rather sizable amounts of student loan debt. Although these schools may not be as expensive as private institutions, they can still cost a pretty penny.

In England, the most expensive university, Regents University in London, reaches around £38,854 per year ($54,321) and the average school there costs around £14,000 ($19,871) per year. In comparison, there is a long list of schools here in the U.S. that reach well above $60,000 annually.

The high cost of colleges and universities in the U.S. often causes students to choose schools based on their price – not their academic offerings or their personal fit. 

An even bigger financial hurdle can surface for students depending on if they are going to a school in their hometown state or not, with those who are out-of-state often having to pay even higher tuition rates. This even further limits the possible pool of schools to attend for many students.

Despite these monetary shackles placed on students, we have a lot to be proud about regarding our public universities here in America. Many offering rigorous academic programs, extensive research opportunities, and various student-loved sports teams.

Despite there being so many expensive public colleges here in America, there are many others that allow students to achieve a great education and college experience without graduating with large amounts of debt, particularly with smaller public colleges.

Those schools with small​er enrollment numbers in no way means they are small in capability or achievement. Rather, these smaller schools become better enabled to tend to specific concerns of students, which results in them getting more tailored attention and assistance.

Students who choose a smaller school are granted smaller classroom sizes which are often accompanied by closer, more personal relationships with their professors, something invaluable that students at larger universities miss out on. 

To recognize these schools, LendEDU compiled a list of 100 small public colleges whose students carry the least amount of student loan debt at graduation. These are all great schools where students can enjoy the college experience, earn degrees, and graduate in a much more financially-sound position as compared to graduates from larger, more expensive schools. 

The 100 Small Public Colleges & Universities With The Least Student Debt Per Borrower


LendEDU’s Small Public Colleges with Least Debt Per Borrower was created using data licensed from Peterson’s and reflects the Class of 2016. The data was reported through a voluntary survey to the colleges and universities listed in the report. For reference, the data is released on a one year delay. 

​The schools were ranked according to the average debt per borrower. Schools were filtered based on the number of graduates to ensure that they could reasonably be considered “small”. Only schools with under 800 graduates in the Class of 2016 were considered small.

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