Madison, NJ – Students graduating from Drew University in 2012 had an average student debt of $24,470, lower than several other private and public universities in New Jersey and lower than the state and national average.

A study released Dec. 4 by the Institute for College Access & Success called “The Project on Student Debt” determined that the average student loan debt for a 2012 college graduate was $29,400 nationwide and $29,287 in New Jersey.

Of the New Jersey colleges and universities that participated in the study, 15 had higher student loan debt amounts than Drew. Leading the state in student loan debt are Felician College in Lodi, with an average of $38,598, The College of New Jersey at $33,889 and Rider University at $32,718.

Renée Volak, director of financial assistance at Drew University, credited several factors for Drew’s Results, including the generous scholarship aid given to Drew students.

“We give a significant amount in scholarships that allows our student debt to be lower than the average in New Jersey.” She estimated that Drew students received $30 million in scholarships in the 2012-2013 academic year.

Fairleigh Dickinson University and Seton Hall University did not participate in the survey.

Volak said the study should serve as a reminder that parents and students should look beyond the cost of tuition and factor in financial aid and scholarships that may be available.

“It’s worth going through the application process to see what is offered,” she said. “Often I find it costs no more to go to a private school than a higher-priced public school.”

She pointed out Drew’s Office of Financial Assistance is available to advise and meet with both current and prospective students who may have questions about financial aid.

New Jersey Colleges and Universities in “The Project on Student Debt”

  • Georgian Court University: $36,114
  • Rowan University: $35,027
  • New Jersey Institute of Technology: $34,867
  • Monmouth University: $34,810
  • Richard Stockton College: $34,287
  • The College of New Jersey: $33,889
  • Rider University: $32,718
  • St. Peter’s College: $32,218
  • Kean University: $30,335
  • Ramapo College: $30,053
  • Montclair State University: $28,070
  • Rutgers University, Camden: $27,535
  • Rutgers  University, New Brunswick: $26,656
  • Rutgers University, Newark: $24,837
  • Drew University: $24,470