Frostburg Ranks Nationally for Low Student Debt and High Scholarship Funding

Mar 23, 2018 12:05 PM

By Robert Spahr ’13

With American college students and graduates now owing a collective $1.4 trillion – with a “T” – in outstanding student loan debt, researchers and students are closely examining the costs of various institutions, as well as the debt held by graduates.

According to a number of studies from LendEDU.com and StudentLoans.net, Frostburg is among America’s best in helping its students finish school with a minimum of debt: 

  • FSU ranked 39th in the nation on LendEDU’s list of colleges with the best financial aid counseling programs.
  • Frostburg ranked 54th in the U.S. on LendEDU’s list of 100 Small Public Collegeswith the least student loan debt per borrower.
  • LendEDU also ranked Frostburg 147th among ALL four-year public institutions in America in “Student Loan Debt Rankings for Public 4-Year Colleges and Universities.”
  • FSU was ranked fourth in the state of Maryland for lowest average debt per borrower.

LendEDU.com examined Peterson’s financial aid data for the Class of 2016 across 1,161 colleges and universities offering sufficient data for analysis, the most recent data available. A report from an unrelated group, StudentLoans.net, “Public Colleges Where Students Earn the Most Scholarship Funding,” analyzed the same Peterson’s data for 500-plus public, four-year American institutions.

“Students receive a remarkable value here at Frostburg State University,” said President Ron Nowaczyk. “Bobcats graduate with less debt than most American college graduates, which gives our new alumni a real advantage as they launch their lives and careers.”

FSU ranked 39th in the nation on LendEDU’s list of “The Top 50 Colleges With the Best Financial Aid Counseling Programs.” This ranking recognized Frostburg’s institution-wide commitment to counseling students effectively on the financial obligations of student loans. The office also issues federal grants and scholarship awards, which do not require repayment, before loans, which must be repaid with interest.

Frostburg students also have access to a significant amount of education in personal finance throughout their college careers. All first-time students at FSU enroll in an “ORIE” class, which generally includes a unit on financial education. Hundreds of first-generation and Pell-eligible students receive in-depth financial and economic literacy education through TRiO Student Support Services each year. Frostburg offers a range of free financial management courses online for all interested students. Each FSU student who receives a Federal Stafford Loan must complete Stafford Loan Exit Counseling before departing the University.

Frostburg was named one of America’s best small public colleges for keeping student loan debt low by LendEDU. Frostburg ranked 54th in America on LendEDU’s list of “The 100 Small Public Colleges With the Least Student Loan Debt per Borrower.”

Even among all of America’s colleges and universities studied by LendEDU, Frostburg stood out.

LendEDU’s “Student Loan Debt Rankings for Public 4-Year Colleges and Universities” ranked Frostburg 147th among all four-year public institutions in America. Frostburg was ranked fourth in the state of Maryland for lowest average debt per borrower.

Frostburg ranked 158th in the country on StudentLoans.net’s study of “Public Colleges Where Students Earn the Most Scholarship Funding.” For the class of 2016, Frostburg provided more than $1.62 million in overall scholarship aid. StudentLoans.net’s study averaged the overall scholarship aid across all of an institution’s undergraduate students. Since not all Frostburg undergraduates received scholarship aid, the average FSU scholarship recipient received a larger award than the average indicated in the study.

According to LendEDU, for the class of 2016, America’s average student loan debt per borrower was $27,975. Maryland’s average student loan debt per borrower was $27,241. Frostburg’s average borrower graduated with $25,347 in student debt – more than $2,500 less than the average American borrower, and almost $2,000 less than the average Maryland borrower.

For more information about financial aid at FSU, visit www.frostburg.edu/admissions-and-cost/financial-aid/index.php.