Among private schools in New Jersey, Drew ranks second—to Princeton University—in lowest student loan debt.

University’s aid program reduces student borrowing.

August 2016 – Drew University is among the colleges and universities with the lowest student debt in the U.S., according to a data analysis from LendEDU.

Compared to 1,300 schools nationally, Drew is ranked 244th in lowest student loan debt per borrower, putting it in the top 20 percent, LendEDU reports. Also, within a subset of that group—private schools—Drew ranks even higher: 120th out of 899, or in the top 15 percent.

On a state level, Drew excels as well. The University’s average debt per borrower falls 20 percent below New Jersey’s average and is near the top of its peers for lowest student debt. Among private schools, Drew is second only to Princeton University and across private and public schools it’s third behind Princeton and N.J. City University.

LendEDU’s rankings are based on the most recent financial aid data from Peterson’s, a clearinghouse for numbers related to higher education. Peterson’s data was for the Class of 2015. LendEDU, an online tool that helps students find lenders to refinance their loans, describes the methodology behind its analysis here.

A key reason why Drew students are graduating with less debt is the aid that the school provides. In the last academic year, Drew awarded some $35 million in scholarships and grants to about 80 percent of the undergraduate student body. That aid reduces the overall cost of education and therefore the amount of money that students need to borrow—either privately or through federal loan programs.

“Many students have concerns about borrowing. That is why Drew works to keep loan amounts manageable with strong scholarship and need-based grant programs,” said Robert Massa, senior vice president for enrollment and institutional planning. “LendU’s analysis highlights that our efforts to meet the needs of our students are effective.”