Median Debt by Institution Type, 2013-14

Graduate students and undergraduates who borrow to attend selective colleges have the largest debts and the lowest default rates. Students who attend for-profit and public two-year colleges have the smallest debts and the highest default rates.

Figure 2016_11A: Median Federal Student Loan Debt Among Borrowers Entering Repayment in 2013-14, by Institution Type

 Median Federal Student Loan Debt Among Borrowers Entering Repayment in 2013-14, by Institution Type

Notes & Sources 

Notes: Institution type is based on the school in which students were enrolled at the time their first federal student loan was issued. Therefore, balances in Figure 11A for all sectors may include both undergraduate and graduate debt. Graduate-only borrowers are those who only borrowed to attend graduate school. Perkins and Parent PLUS loans are not included. See Looney and Yannelis (2015) for information on how college selectivity is defined.

Sources: Adam Looney and Constantine Yannelis (2015), “A Crisis in Student Loans? How Changes in the Characteristics of Borrowers and in the Institutions They Attended Contributed to Rising Loan Defaults,” Brookings Papers on Economic Activities.

  • Median federal student loan debt among borrowers who entered repayment in 2013-14 was $19,650. Median debt ranged from $11,650 for borrowers who attended public two-year colleges and $14,260 for those who attended for profit colleges, to $26,490 for those who attended the most selective four-year colleges and $45,890 for those who only borrowed for graduate school.