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CBU Ranks Low for Student Debt, According to Recent Studies

According to two recent studies, students of Christian Brothers University (CBU) graduate with less student loan debt that most of their contemporaries at other colleges and universities.

The Student Loan Report ( recently published a new study analyzing how much private student loan debt new college graduates carry.. CBU is featured in the study for leaving its students with very little private student debt.

CBU ranked #68 out of 800 private colleges and universities who left graduates with private student loan debt, a form of financial aid known for higher interest rates and less forgiving repayment programs. According to the report’s calculations, only four percent of CBU’s graduates incur private student debt, and their average debt is $26,016.

All data for this report was licensed from the most recent Peterson’s Financial Aid dataset, and all data is relevant to the Class of 2016. Two metrics were pulled from Peterson:

  • average private student debt of graduates who borrowed private student loans
  • percentage of graduate borrowers with private student debt (specifically, private student loan graduate borrowers over the total number of student loan borrowers)

These two metrics were used to calculate a third metric — average private student debt per graduate (total graduates). The average private student debt per graduate figure includes all graduate borrowers of federal, private, and other forms of aid. The final results can be seen here.

Also published recently is a study by LendEDU of “The 10 Tennessee Colleges With the Lowest Average Student Debt Per Borrower,” which found CBU students to graduate with the fourth lowest amount of debt of all 28 colleges and universities in the state, private or public — the lowest of any college in Memphis. According to their study, the average CBU student borrower owes $22,527 at graduation. Unlike the Student Loan Report, the LendEDU study counts all forms of student loans, private and federal. CBU’s average of $22,527 per borrower compares nationally to an average of $30,100 (according to the Project on Student Debt by the Institute for College Access & Success) — $7,573 lower than the national average.

The LendEDU rankings are a part of its “Student Loan Debt by School by State 2017” report. The study likewise used the most recent Peterson's financial aid dataset for graduates from the Class of 2016. Overall, 1,161 college and universities in the United States were analyzed. The statistics shown only include graduates from four-year nonprofit programs who did not transfer into the program or drop out early. ​No graduate students were included. States were ranked solely on the Debt Per Borrower statistic.

“One reason that our students graduate with less debt is that CBU is very generous with its financial aid packages — including a competitive  merit scholarship program,” says Dr. Anne Kenworthy, vice president for enrollment at CBU. “Our students can earn up to $15,000, based solely on their academic achievements. CBU also assists some student with University grants to help make a CBU education within reach. That’s because one of the founding principles of CBU is inclusivity, and that starts with making sure a quality education is affordable for everyone.”

Christian Brothers University continues to rank among the best values for a college education, ranking in the Top 25 of the 100 Most Affordable Small Colleges East of the Mississippi (2017) by Best Value Schools ( lists CBU among the 25 Best Value Small Colleges for both a Psychology degree and a Biology degree, and among the Top Five Best Value Small Colleges in the nation for degrees in Engineering (Electrical, Chemical/Biochemical, Civil, and Mechanical).

Posted by Cory Dugan at 3:47 PM