Insights into Online Education and OPMs from the College Scorecard

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4 replies
  1. Kyle Johnson
    Kyle Johnson says:

    Student loans often don’t just cover tuition and program costs. They can also cover living expenses. As far as I know that calculation from FAFSA holds true even for online programs. So someone could elect to do an online program full time and take out loans for both tuition/program costs as well as living expenses. I remember when I went back to graduate school that the initial loan package from the school (a state institution) was WAY more than tuition/fees. I actually had to fill out something to take the loans just for tuition/fees (I was working full time). If enough students are taking out loans for both tuition/fees and living expenses, that would skew the data towards what you’re seeing even if lots of folks are using their own money to pay for the programs.

  2. Ryan MacDonald
    Ryan MacDonald says:

    I’m assuming the primary reason for the higher debt levels is related simply to the cost of the nursing or social work programs being higher than library science. I’d be curious to see what this looks like when comparing median starting salary for each program to get a better sense of payback period on each program. I think this is a big aspect of the student debt debate that is being overlooked broadly.

    • Patricia Steele
      Patricia Steele says:

      I agree–what does it matter if the student has debt but can manage it perfectly with the 10 year repayment. Hopefully if one makes the choice to borrow this much, one has some sense of this outcome. Also, some MSWs are offering private practice services. These are not necessarily low income case workers anymore. Also, perhaps the student is borrowing this much so they can study full-time and manage their housing costs with those funds, but will repay when they return to work. Or even better, perhaps they have tuition reimbursement. Scorecard data leave much to be understood at the student/graduate level.

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