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Student Loan Debt at Alma College

Learn how student loan debt and default rates at Alma compare to the national average, and how this could impact your future. Understand the differences in student loans, how to estimate payments and how to protect yourself from incurring a debt that can never be removed from your credit, even if you declare bankruptcy.

Answers to Questions About Student Loans

The majority of students take on debt in order to pay for their degree. The question you need to ask yourself is how much debt will I have to take on to pay for Alma College, and how easily will I pay it off? Keep scrolling down the page for answers.

Freshmen At Alma College Take Out an Average of $8,151 in Loans in Their First Year

At Alma College 97.0% of incoming students take out a loan to help defray freshman year costs, averaging $8,151. This amount includes both private and federally-funded student loans. The average federal loan is $6,655, 121.0% of the first-year borrowing cap of $5,500* for the typical first-year dependent student.

*Independent students and those with parents who do not qualify for PLUS loans have higher borrowing caps.

The Average Loan Amount for All Undergrads at Alma College is $7,818 Per Year.

91.0% of all undergraduate students at Alma College utilize federal student loans to help pay for their college education, averaging $7,818 per year. This amount is 17.5% higher than the $6,655 amount borrowed by freshmen, indicating an increasing gap between available funds and college costs, and an increasing reliance on student loans.

Borrowing the average amount will result in loans of $15,636 after two years and $31,272 after four.

Were you surprised by how much you might have borrowed by the time you graduate? These numbers are based on borrowing the same amount each year, but what if you borrow more? These numbers also do not include any loans where the parent is the borrower, even though Parent PLUS loans are frequently included in financial aid packages.

The Default Rate on Student Loans is Increasing

Loan default rates can indicate how well Alma College is helping students afford to attend college without undue reliance on loans, particularly unsubsidized loans. It can also indicate future earnings and career potential. Look at the information below, and discover why this statistic should be a factor in your college decision.

A total of 378 Alma College students entered loan repayment in 2010. After three years, 5.2% of these students (20 out of 378) defaulted on their loans. The lower the default rate the better! The chart below compares this college to the average 3-year default rate calculated accross all of the 4-year schools we have data for.

Prior to 2012, default rates were calculated at two years. The historical two-year default rate on student loans increased during a three-year period.

When compared to the average three-year default rate of 7.4%, the default rate at Alma College is normal, but as the average is increasing at alarming rates, you should make sure you fully understand and are comfortable with your financial aid offer.

Is Alma College offering you two separate student loans, one for a subsidized amount and one for an unsubsidized amount? Do you understand the difference? Multiply the total of the loans over four or five years of college and calculate your estimated monthly payment when you graduate. Does it shock you or does it seem affordable? Understanding what you will owe after graduation can help prevent you from starting your career with a large amount of debt that you cannot reasonably afford.

Other Factors to Consider

  • In most cases, a student is considered to have defaulted on their loan if they have not made a payment in 270 days. This does not include students who have requested to go into forbearance due to financial hardship, so the actual amount of students who aren't paying back their loans could be higher. Do you understand the consequences of defaulting on a loan?
  • Some college experts advise that a student's total debt by the time they graduate should not exceed the amount they will make in one year's salary. Have you done research into your desired career fields to see what type of salary you can expect?
  • The default rate a school reports has an effect on the amount of government aid they are able to receive. A high default rate might mean the school is on shaky ground financially. What would the consequences be if the college you were attending were in financial distress? (Could the school cut back on faculty and staff? Eliminate entire programs?)

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