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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Marquette ranks near middle for student debt among peer institutions


When it comes to handling student debt, Marquette finishes in the middle of the pack.

Marquette gives a 60 percent discount on total university cost to Pell grantees, or students with families that earn $30,000 or lower in annual income. However, this discount ranks 52nd out of 100 among other private, four-year, not-for-profit universities.

“The university’s discount rate for Pell Grant recipients of 60 percent was listed as in between ‘high and low,’” Brian Dorrington, university spokesman, said. “We are proud of the support we provide our students. And financial experts consider this range to be strong in support of students who are in need.”

This data comes from information that was released in September by the U.S. Department of Education regarding student debt at more than 7,000 schools. The website ProPublica published Debt by Degrees, a database that allows anyone to look up how well low-income students do at each school.

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The information from Debt by Degrees targets students receiving Pell Grants. In 1965, the Pell Grant program was established to help low-income families afford college without incurring large amounts of debt that could limit students later in life.

“The study lists Marquette’s default rate at 2.5 percent and ranks it as in between ‘high and low,'” Dorirngton said. “Financial aid industry experts consider default rates below five percent to be strong.”

At Marquette, 16.9 percent of undergraduates in 2013 were Pell grantees. Based on this data, Marquette ranked 67th out of 101 four-year, private, not-for-profit research schools.

The recently released data also shows that Marquette Pell grantees had a median federal debt of $28,250 in 2013, which ranked 57th out of 59. Overall, Marquette finished toward the bottom in terms of debt for all students. The median federal debt for all students was $27,000, which was 82nd out of 101. The private school with the least amount of median debt was Alliant International University in San Diego, with a median debt of $2,000. Harvard finished second with a median debt of $6,000.

The total annual cost of Marquette was $18,795 in 2013 for families with an annual income of $30,000 or lower. Marquette ranked 51st of 101 in this category. Meanwhile, the total annual cost, including books, tuition and living expenses for Marquette was $46,649 in 2013.

Marquette finished 32nd out of 100 in that category. The lowest-ranked school was Washington University in St. Louis with an annual cost of $62,594. In the state of Wisconsin, Marquette finished below their Madison counterpart. The University of Wisconsin-Madison’s average cost for low-income students was $8,306.

Three years after graduation, the non-payment rate for all Marquette students with debt was just 6.7 percent, which ranked 35th of 100. The non-repayment rate for Pell Grant students at Marquette was 10.7 percent, 38th out of 100.

Dorrington said the university is “actively fundraising to secure funds for underprivileged students.”


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