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For anyone graduating college over the past few years, you know how overwhelming student debt can be. And, if you’re like most, you’re banking on the new career to help clear that debt – some faster than others. A. Harrison Barnes, career coach and founder, tells us about a new chart, courtesy of the U.S. Department of Education, that shows the repayment rates for every college, graduate school and even job training program within the U.S. The numbers were pulled from the debt loads of every single student who either dropped out or graduated college between 2004 and 2008. Read on – you might be surprised at what’s what, says the founder.

More than 90% of Cal Tech graduates were paying on their loan balances, as were those who graduated from Christian liberal arts Dordt College. Generally, says A. Harrison Barnes, nursing programs, those schools with Christian foundations and surprisingly – liberal arts students – were more likely to remain committed than some others. For Dordt and Cal Tech, the average financial total was around $33,000 per student. For those students who were carrying more than $50,000 and making efforts to pay down there debt, odds are, they attended Williams, Lafayette, Gettysburg and Colby. U.S. News reports those schools offer impressive financial aid programs.

Going south, you’ll discover the University of Mobile, a private Christian school located in Mobile, AL reported only about 33% of the students who owe money are making payments of any kind (and payments of $1 are counted in the “repayment” column). Other schools with lower repayment ratios include Grambling State and Fisk. Liberty University, recently announcing its new management system, reports a repayment ratio of 45%, says the founder.

Ah…but things aren’t always as they seem. It’s important to keep in mind that those who went on to graduate school and hadn’t begun making payments yet (and won’t until they’ve completed grad school) are considered, for purposes of the poll, to be in the “no pay” column. A few deans report that students are indeed making payments – on time and every month, but are only making the minimum payments that did not cover any of the principle on their loans, but they too are being counted as non-payers. Barnes says it’s important to keep perspective.

As with surveys of this magnitude, there are bound to be those who disagree with the algorithms used. Still, despite any slight imperfections or fluctuations, the big picture is clear. The bad news is there likely will no cuts to any school’s tuition. Costs have been on the rise for decades and that trend is likely cemented into place. Barnes says the key to repaying student debt is to maintain consistency. Try to pay as much on the principle as possible and keep on moving forward.

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