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View Diary: College Tuition Crisis Continues; Debt Crushing Graduates (168 comments)

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  •  Great post, except. . . (none)
    Your math is a bit off on the "$40,000 debt" average figure.

    As you noted, loans comprise 55% of total student aid.  The other 45% are grants, meaning the cost of tuition is defrayed without incurring debt.  Furthermore, not every student has financial aid, and very few need financial aid covering 100% of the tuition.

    The only way $40,000 could be the average debt from a 4-year total cost of $80,000 (public) and $100,000 (private, though the exact figure wasn't presented) would be if the debt itself comprised close to 50% of the total payment to colleges.  But as I've noted above, it's not even close to that.

    One of the studies you cite says the average public-college debt is "nearly $20,000."  That sounds more realistic (and is still horrible.  Mine's $36,000, by the way -- so I'm testament to the fact that averages are just averages!)

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