Calvin and the CNBC student loan story

A family who has two children at Calvin College was interviewed as part of a one-hour documentary that recently appeared on CNBC. The documentary looked broadly at the student loan crisis in the United States.

In today's economy, few students can afford a college education—public, private or community college—without some form of educational financing. Calvin keeps a careful eye on student indebtedness and the student's ability to repay loans post graduation.

  • The average debt for 2009 graduates was $28,500, putting Calvin on par with both public and private peer institutions.

  • Less than one-percent of Calvin graduates fail to pay back their loans, which is also on par or better when compared with those same schools.

Student financial aid packages are tailored to individual family circumstances, and families are called on to make important choices—like whether to use savings or take out loans. When accessing loans, extensive loan counseling is required as part of the disbursement, helping the consumer understand the opportunities and implications of the loan. Calvin encourages families to start the financial aid process by submitting the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and then speaking with a financial aid counselor to understand what specific support will be available for them.

It is also important to note Calvin's strong financial aid package includes extending financial aid to 92 percent of families. Over 61 percent of Calvin students receive need-based financial aid, with an average award of $17,000 per student. And 75-percent of first-year students are awarded a renewable academic scholarship each year.

In addition, 76-percent of the 2009 graduating class reported that they were employed shortly after graduation—a strong indicator of ability to repay loans—along with another 24-percent who are in graduate school (Note: 83.5% of graduates participated in the survey). U.S. News & World Report ranks Calvin as one of just 15 schools in the nation to be recognized for its "internships" opportunities and one of just a dozen schools acknowledged for its "service-learning" program, a couple of more reasons Calvin students have success finding work upon graduation.

Feel free to contact one of Calvin's financial aid counselors for a broader conversation.