For-profit" colleges have come under fire for saddling students with big debts in exchange for dim job prospects. But what about "real" colleges? They're pushing huge debts on students, too. We crunched the numbers to find the worst (NYU).
In a recent press release, the Washington Post Company—which owns Kaplan, a leading for-profit education company—referred to a recent report by the Education Department which listed debt repayment figures for every college in the nation. We sorted the list by total student debt load.
The top three offenders were all for-profit schools: The University of Phoenix (nearly $5 billion in total student debt), Nova Southeastern University ($1.1 billion), and American Intercontinental University ($810 million). But the #4 school was our old friend: New York University, with $659 million in total student debt. In fact, NYU's student debt alone is bigger than the gross domestic product of 12 countries.
Without further ado, the top ten "real" (not "for-profit") colleges, by total student debt:
New York University: $659 million
University of Southern California: $631 million
Penn State University: $590 million
Ohio State University: $560 million
University of Minnesota: $495 million
Arizona State University: $479 million
University of Texas: $474 million
Michigan State University: $433 million
Indiana University- Purdue University: $421 million
Rutgers: $398 million
Clearly, big schools will have bigger debt loads. (If you're interested in per-student debt figures, see the linked source material). But the size of these figures should give the hordes of incoming freshmen something to think about. Considering the unemployment rate.