Smart Money is a new program created by the Student Development Division to address
the growing number of Collin College students postponing or even abandoning their
academic pursuits. This trend is due to the combination of higher educational costs
and increased personal debt. Many entering college students are completely unaware
and under prepared for the financial responsibility they will encounter after their
high school graduation. This program will seek to lessen the impact of poor money
management skills of current students through educational opportunities, resource
development, and the establishment of community contacts.
Average student-loan debt of borrowers in the college class of 2011
rose to about $26,500
(a 5% increase from about $23,350 the previous year)
Two-thirds of those who earn bachelor’s degrees in 2011 had loans
Approximately one-fifth of that debt was from private student loans
(which has fewer consumer protections and repayment options
than federal loans)
(source: Institute for College Access and Success)
Percent of undergraduates with at least one credit card: 84%
(up from 76% in 2004)
Average number of credit cards = 4.6
(half of college students had four or more cards)
Average balance on credit cards grew from $2,169 (2004)
to $3,173 (2009), while median debt grew from $946 (2004)
to $1,645 (2009).
21% of students had credit card debt between $3,000 - $7,000
(source: Sallie Mae’s National Study of Usage Rates and Trends 2009)
The percentage of students graduating in 2000 with some level of
student loan debt was 64%.
The percentage of student loan borrowers with an unmanageable level
of debt* was 39%. (*Unmanageable debt level = monthly loan payments
exceeding 8% of personal monthly income).
55% of African American student borrowers and 58% of Hispanic student
borrowers graduated with unmanageable debt burden.
Low income students with loan debt were 71% as compared to 44%
for wealthy students.
The average balance for student loan borrows was $20,104 on accounts
with credit card companies and loan underwriters upon graduation.
In 1976 the maximum award from a Pell Grant covered 84% of tuition costs
at a four-year public institution; by 2002, the maximum award covers
only 39% of these tuition costs.
Studies show that wealthy families are shifting college costs from savings
to student loans.
(source: The Burden of Borrowing Report 2002)