The 20 Colleges That Account for One-Fifth of All Grad School Debt

Getting an advanced degree doesn’t come cheap, which is why graduate students carry nearly half of all student debt. But it turns out that a handful of schools are responsible for a large share of that money.

A new study from the Center for American Progress found that 20 universities received one-fifth, or $6.5 billion, of the total amount of loans the government gave graduate students in the 2013—2014 academic year. Those schools, however, only educate 12% of all graduate students.

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What’s striking about the Center’s findings is that a majority of the debt taken to attend the 20 schools on its list is not for law or medical degrees that promise hefty paydays. Most graduate students at those schools are seeking master’s degrees in journalism, fine arts, or government, according to CAP.

Still, at two foreign medical schools, St. George’s University in Grenada and Ross University in Dominica, students borrowed more than $200 million in a single school year. Medical schools in the Caribbean are often a refuge for students rejected from top American schools, but their tuition easily rivals schools in the United States. Tuition for one semester at Ross, for instance, costs up to $21,710.

It’s not exactly shocking that pricey private schools like New York University, Georgetown University, and George Washington University made the list—tuition alone at all three schools is well over $40,000 a year. But the eight for-profit colleges, including University of Phoenix and Capella University, may raise some eyebrows.

Indeed, students borrowed the most amount of money, $756 million, to attend Walden University, a for-profit school that specializes in offering graduate degrees in education, healthcare, and business.

Read more at the Washington Post….