Keep Debt in Check

Our graduates’ professional success puts them in a great position to manage the next phase of their careers, which may include student loan repayment. We are proud that AU’s student loan debt is at a seven-year low. That’s impressive considering that nationally, average student loan debt has climbed to 56 percent since 2004.

In the Class of 2014

  • Forty percent of students graduated debt-free.
  • Borrowers had 21 percent less debt than the Class of 2009.
  • Borrowers’ average debt was $32,546, comparable to the national average for private universities of $32,600.

Our graduates also perform better in loan repayment. AU grads’ three-year default rate, which traditionally fall below 3.3 percent, is significantly lower than the national average of 11.8 percent.

AU has worked hard to increase need-based financial aid and to help students borrow wisely.

Modest Tuition Increases

  • AU’s 3 percent tuition increase for 2015 continues a 10-year trend of tuition and fee increases that are lower than the national average.

More Financial Aid

  • AU earmarked more tuition revenue for financial aid, providing $85 million in 2015.
  • AU increased the proportion of need-based aid, which accounted for 80 percent of aid in 2015–2016. Almost 80 percent of incoming freshmen received assistance, along with scholarships and merit awards.
  • Sixty percent of loan borrowers in AU’s Class of 2014 is well below the 75 percent national average for the same type of students at four-year, non-profit universities.
  • AU’s Emergency Financial Aid Fund, which ensures students can continue their studies during unexpected financial hardship, spent $6 million in 2014.
  • These programs have earned AU a coveted rank in Kiplinger’s Best College Values.

Financial Literacy Campaign

  • AU wants students to understand the long-term impact of loans. We identified a need for better information about private loans, which are more expensive and offer fewer consumer protections and repayment options than federal loans. Then, we created a campaign to educate students and offered tools to help them consider the impact on their cumulative debt before they take out private loans.
  • AU offers financial literacy workshops and a monthly tuition payment plan to help students budget ahead and reduce loan amounts.