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Spring is an exciting time of year for high school students and their families, with acceptance letters appearing in letterboxes and email inboxes. But before deciding which school to attend next fall, students and their families should assess the financial aid offers they receive from each school.

Each school’s financial aid offer should clearly state how much a student’s first year of college will cost. For most students, this will also show how much they will need to borrow. But the financial aid offer won’t tell students what they can expect to earn after graduation, or how much debt it would be reasonable to incur.

The debt burden imposed on a student depends not only on how much he borrows, but also what he earns after graduation. To help students and their families weigh their options, Credible ranked 114 four-year universities in California by analyzing recent student debt-to-income ratios (DTIs). The lower the ratio (DTI), the better.

Here are the charts and data you will find below:

Main conclusions

When borrowing for college, an old rule of thumb is not to take on more debt than your expected annual salary upon graduation. So, getting a DTI student loan greater than 1.0 could be problematic. click here to visit Payday Now for free

Some key takeaways from 114 schools analyzed:

  • Average DTI student loan: 0.60
  • Percentage of for-profit schools with a lower than average DTI: 67%
  • Number of schools with a DTI of 1.0 or higher: 10

Another widely followed measure is the percentage of students who are able to repay at least $ 1 in loan principal within three years of leaving school. In schools with higher DTIs, a smaller proportion of students are able to repay at least $ 1 in student loan debt within 3 years of graduation.

Lowest debt-to-income ratio *

1. California Institute of Technology: 0.16
2.Stanford University: 0.16
3. Samuel Merritt University: 0.19
4.Trident International University: 0.24
5. Pomona College: 0.24
6. Claremont McKenna College: 0.25
7. University of California-Berkeley: 0.28
8. Loma Linda University: 0.29
9. Harvey Mudd College: 0.32
10. University of California-Davis: 0.32

Highest debt-to-income ratio *

105. San Francisco Art Institute: 1.02
106. SUM Bible College and Theological Seminary: 1.06
107. Cogswell College: 1.08
108. Laguna College of Art and Design: 1.08
109. University of Phoenix-California 1.16
110. Academy of Fine Arts: 1.17
111. Humphreys University – Stockton and Modesto: 1.19
112. Ashford University: 1.21
113. San Diego Institute of Design: 1.32
114. Mount Sierra College: 1.84

Lowest debt upon graduation

1. California Institute of Technology: $ 8,700
2. Pomona College: $ 10,040
3. Stanford University: $ 11,341
4. Trident University International: $ 11,761
5. University of California-Davis: $ 13,000
6. California State University-Los Angeles: $ 13,381
7. California State University-Monterey Bay: $ 13,521
8. University of California-Berkeley: $ 13,750
9. Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterey: $ 13,750
10. Scripps College: $ 13,900

Highest debt upon graduation

105. Art Center College of Design: $ 31,013
106. DeVry University-California: $ 31,206
107. University of the Academy of Fine Arts: $ 31,365
108. University of Phoenix-California: $ 32,813
109. West Coast University: $ 33,332
110. Ashford University: $ 34,375
111. American University of Health Sciences: $ 37,583
112. New school of architecture and design: $ 37,764
113. Mount Sierra College: $ 39,873
114. San Diego Institute of Design: $ 42,258

Highest median income 6 years after enrollment

1. Samuel Merritt University: $ 100,100
2. West Coast University: $ 74,600
3. California State University Maritime Academy: $ 73,100
4. Harvey Mudd College: $ 72,500
5. Loma Linda University: $ 72,000
6. Stanford University: $ 70,400
7. Golden Gate University-San Francisco: $ 66,100
8. University of Santa Clara: $ 61,100
9. Claremont McKenna College: $ 55,900
10. California Institute of Technology: $ 54,500

Lowest median income 6 years after enrollment

105. Christian College of San Diego: $ 27,700
106. University of the Academy of Fine Arts: $ 26,900
107. California Institute of the Arts: $ 26,900
108. San Francisco Art Institute: $ 26,500
109. Humboldt State University: $ 26,200
110. Humphreys University-Stockton and Modesto: $ 25,400
111. Laguna College of Art and Design: $ 24,900
112. Columbia College Hollywood: $ 23,800
113. SUM Bible College and Theological Seminary: $ 23,300
114. Mount Sierra College: $ 21,700

Highest percentage of students repaying at least $ 1 in debt within 3 years of graduation

1. California State University Maritime Academy: 93.6%
2. Samuel Merritt University: 93.4%
3. Stanford University: 91.6%
4. California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo: 91.5%
5. University of Santa Clara: 90.2%
6. Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterey: 89.5%
7. Western College: 89.4%
8. Bethel-San Diego Seminar: 88.7%
9. University of California-Davis: 88.2%
10. Pitzer College: 87.4%

Lowest percentage of students repaying at least $ 1 in debt within 3 years of graduation

105. University of the United States: 53.9%
106. University of Antioch-LA and Santa Barbara: 52.1%
107. San Francisco Art Institute: 51.6%
108. Pacific Oaks College: 50.5%
109. California Institute for Integral Studies: 46.2%
110. Columbia College Hollywood: 42.9%
111. Humphreys University-Stockton and Modesto: 42.6%
112. Ashford University: 42.1%
113. University of Phoenix-California: 42.1%
114. SUM Bible College and Theological Seminary: 35.1%

*Methodology: This analysis is based on data collected by the Department of Education and made available to the public through College Scorecard. To calculate the DTI ratios for each school, Credible divided the median student loan debt at graduation by the median earnings of all students who were working and not enrolled in school six years after starting the school. university, including those who did not graduate. Data on debt at graduation was collected in 2017 and 2018. Earnings data was collected in 2014 and 2015 and adjusted by the Department of Education to 2017 dollars to account for the inflation. Data refer to schools which mainly award bachelor’s degrees. Schools that did not provide the data necessary to calculate the debt-to-income ratio were excluded. Since income also depends on field of study, students should also use University scorecard to find debt and profits by major.

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Keep reading: These Michigan colleges have the lowest and highest student loan debt-to-income ratios

About the Author

Matt Carter

Matt Carter is a credible student loan expert. The analytical articles he contributed to have been featured by CNBC, CNN Money, USA Today, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post.

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