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NGU on Forbes List of Top 25 Low Debt Private Colleges

A private education doesn't have to lead to a post-grad life filled with seemingly endless student loan repayments. In fact, an affordable private college experience comes in all shapes and sizes, says Forbes contributing writer Carter Coudreit.

Forbes took a look at the private schools on their 2017 Top Colleges list, and focused on those with the lowest median original federal loan amount for all undergrad borrowers, per the College Scorecard.

“Even without the in-state tuition perk touted by public colleges, these institutions still deliver a good bang for your buck,” said Coudreit.

Of this year’s top 25 low-debt private colleges, six have acceptance rates over 50%. North Greenville University ranks 17th with a median federal loan debt of $11,000 and has an acceptance rate of 58%.

“Families today have a growing concern with college tuition costs and student debt,” said Vice President for Enrollment Services Keli Sewell. “NGU continues to be gaining a national reputation as one of the best-value deals in higher education.”

Also, Forbes came up with financial grades to measure the fiscal soundness of nearly 900 four-year, private, not-for-profit colleges with at least 500 students. NGU received a B rating for 2016.

“Why should you care about a non-profit's college's financial health,” asks Forbes managing editor of investing, markets, and personal finance Matt Schifrin. “Because struggling schools often charge high tuitions, and then quietly offer steep discounts to entice students and their parents. Some of these schools, often with B grades on our list, offer excellent values for prospective students.”

Others, that are more desperate, tend to cut back on things a student might care about like facilities and maintenance, professors and other instruction-related expenses. Even worse, some colleges actually go out of business, effectively stranding students, parents and alumni, Schifrin says.

Forbes’ website says no fewer than 390 colleges on Forbes list skate by with financial grades of C or lower.  Only 66 private colleges were awarded a grade of A+ for their finances, another 111 received an A or A-. (For the full list of private colleges and grades)

Forbes used data from the two most recent fiscal years provided by the U.S. Department of Education--2013 and 2014. The grades measure financial fitness as determined by nine components broken into three categories: balance sheet strength, operational soundness, and other higher education specific health indicators.

See the complete ranking of the Top 25 Low Debt Private Colleges 2017, and Forbes’ financial grades.

               

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