Save More - Borrow Less
With American student debt topping $1 trillion, it’s common to leave college with tens of thousands of dollars in loans to repay, making indebtedness an urgent national concern and a source of anxiety for students and families. Federal student loans charge 7.5% interest — twice the current homemortgage rate — and repayment can last decades, with no respite even in bankruptcy. It’s no wonder that one indebted non-CUNY graduate called the loans “the closest thing to debtor prison.” Yet education borrowing is expected to rise, along with delinquent payments, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
At CUNY, however, affordable, no-surprises tuition and availability of financial aid greatly lighten the burden on students — so much so that only 15% of undergraduates at our four-year colleges had federal education loans during the 2010-11 academic year. That’s a strikingly low number compared with most other colleges and universities. It includes some transfer students who arrived with loans but found little need to borrow further for their more value-packed CUNY education. It comes as no surprise that when our students do take education loans, they owe less on average at graduation than their peers at other New York institutions, public and private.