The Best Colleges for Securing Your Loan’s Safety

by David Luther
College Grad Jobs, Rankings - 3 years ago

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Most Secure Investment Colleges

The latest Higher Education Research Institute freshmen study shows that 82 percent of incoming students selected being “very well off financially” as essential or very important to their college choice — and it had better be, as the national student default rate rose to 11.3 percent.

In today’s job market, a college education is an almost mandatory investment. It’s not a particularly risky one, and in most cases it pays off — but just as not all schools are equal in how much of a return they provide, some schools are particularly risky choices.

And while a college’s median salaries and employment rates serve as excellent benchmarks for success, just as important is the darker side — the probability that graduates will fail and be stuck with an enormous burden… one that weighs about four years and $150,000, on average.

To help showcase some of these educational AAA investments, in addition to the map at the top of this article, we at Zippia have put together a list of the best educational investments by state.

If you were wondering about the least safe investments in your future we’ve got that too — but here are the ten Most Financially Secure Colleges, with the full list at the bottom of this page:

  1. Bellin College — Wisconsin
  2. University of Baltimore — Maryland
  3. Rice University — Texas
  4. Kettering University — Michigan
  5. Allen College — Iowa
  6. Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology — Indiana
  7. Harvard University — Massachusetts
  8. College of William and Mary — Virginia
  9. Yale University — Connecticut
  10. Bob Jones University — South Carolina

Get a job that keeps you out of loan default
We analyzed millions of resumes to determine what jobs people with your degree are most likely to land right out of college and how they pay — search by geographical area or desired field.

How we determined the Most Secure College Investments

Looking at a college education as an investment, we used several factors to come up with a ranking index: how much each school costs, what the risk is, and how easy it is to pay it back.

We used Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) to determine how much the schools cost to attend — which is the cost of the investment. To approximate the risk of taking out loans to finance this venture, we took Department of Education data on school default rates.

And finally, we used CollegeScoreCard data to gauge the median salary at six years — this is the most critical payment success period. We assigned values to these metrics to select the Most Financially Risky Colleges in each state. Then we ranked each state’s school according to their rating.

1. Wisconsin


College: Bellin College
City: Bellevue, WI
Default Rate: 0 percent
Bellin College was founded as Deaconess Sanitarium Training School for Nurses and that’s what they do: Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Sciences
Bachelor of Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography

2. Maryland


College: University of Baltimore
City: Baltimore, MD
Default Rate: .8 percent
Guard Dragon

3. Texas


College: Rice University
City: Houston, Texas
Default Rate: .3 percent
Shaving cream thing

4. Michigan


College: Kettering University
City: Flint, MI
Default Rate: 1.9 percent
Formerly GM

5. Iowa


College: Allen College
City: Waterloo, IA
Default Rate: 1 percent
Not Allen University, all about health care

Maybe it shouldn’t.

6. Indiana


College: Rose-Hulman
City: Terre Haute, IN
Default Rate: .4 percent
Yay, you beat Notre Dame at something.

7. Massachusetts


College: Harvard University
City: Boston, MA
Default Rate: .8 percent
Broadview University was founded in 1977, began offering bachelor’s degrees in 2005 before losing its accreditor was de-recognized by the Department of Education accreditation in 2016. So, there’s that.

8. Virginia


College: The College of William and Mary
City: Williamsburg, VA
Default Rate: .8 percent
One of the country’s few royal colleges, second oldest after harvard.

9. Connecticut


College: Yale University
City: New Haven, CT
Default Rate: .6 percent
Not Harvard.

10. South Carolina


College: Bob Jones University
City: Greenville, SC
Default Rate: 1.3 percent
Bunch of Billy Grahams

Some of the takeaways

The Department of Education began tracking individual schools loan default rates in an effort to measure quality outcomes of federal loan programs.

And these institutions care about Big Brother watching, because if a school has a cohort default rate over 30 percent for three years or 40 percent for one year, it loses eligibility to participate in the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL), Direct Loan, and Federal Pell Grant Programs for the year.

One of the most important things to today’s college freshmen is that the college they choose will help them get a good job — but the most important thing is that the college experience will at least not leave them crushed by a mountain of debt and bad credit — check graduation rates and accreditation.

Get a job that keeps you out of loan default
We analyzed millions of resumes to determine what jobs people with your degree are most likely to land right out of college and how they pay — search by geographical area or desired field.

Most Financially Secure Colleges

As a note, the University of Wyoming is in this list by default… there are so few colleges in Wyoming that it’s also the most financially insecure bachelor’s-granting college as well.

Rank State College Loan Default Rate Salary At 6 Years Tuition
1 WI Bellin College 0.00% 53,100 20,500
2 MD University of Baltimore 0.80% 52,100 14,035
3 TX Rice 0.30% 60,100 42,253
4 MI Kettering University 1.90% 62,600 10,944
5 IA Allen College 1.00% 47,600 17,373
6 IN Rose-Hulman 0.40% 64,800 45,141
7 MA Harvard University 0.80% 106,300 45,278
8 VA William and Mary 0.80% 48,300 33,946
9 CT Yale 0.60% 76,400 47,600
10 SC Bob Jones 1.30% 48,500 14,900
11 CA Stanford University 0.70% 102,300 46,320
12 NC Duke 0.40% 87,600 49,241
13 NJ Princeton 0.90% 71,600 43,450
14 NY Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 0.09% 62,900 49,341
15 NE Clarkson College 1.70% 46,200 13,904
16 PA Carnegie Mellon University 0.60% 70,900 50,665
17 OH Case Western Reserve University 1.10% 65,800 44,560
18 MO Washington University 0.80% 59,700 48,093
19 CO Colorado School of Mines 2.10% 66,200 26,090
20 NH Dartmouth College 0.90% 70,500 49,506
21 DE University of Delaware 1.90% 44,100 21,970
22 OR University of Portland 1.10% 48,500 42,288
23 IL University of Chicago 0.90% 69,800 51,351
24 WA Gonzaga 1.10% 43,100 37,990
25 TN Vanderbilt 1.20% 58,600 44,712
26 MN College of Saint Benedict 0.90% 40,000 40,846
27 RI Bryant University 1.60% 51,000 39,808
28 ND North Dakota State at Fargo 3.20% 41,100 13,745
29 GA Emory 1.50% 62,600 46,314
30 WY University of Wyoming 4.20% 40,200 10,262
31 VT Middlebury 1.50% 50,600 47,828
32 AL Samford 2.00% 41,000 28,370
33 FL University of Miami 1.90% 50,500 45,724
34 NM New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology 5.30% 42,200 12,875
35 HI Hawaii Pacific University 4.40% 43,900 22,440
36 AR John Brown University 3.90% 42,500 24,468
37 ME Bowdoin College 1.30% 44,800 48,212
38 LA LSU 4.90% 42,300 18,295
39 KY University of Kentucky 4.40% 39,000 17,602
40 UT Westminster 2.70% 42,600 31,528
41 OK University of Tulsa 2.90% 46,400 39,521
42 KS Baker University 4.80% 45,200 27,160
43 NV University of Nevada at Reno 5.20% 39,800 13,857
44 MT Carroll College 2.10% 36,700 30,754
45 SD Augustana 2.20% 35,400 30,090
46 AK Alaska Pacific University 5.00% 39,900 19,610
47 MS Millsaps 2.50% 35,700 35,510
48 ID Northwest Nazarene University 3.60% 34,300 28,150
49 AZ University of Arizona 5.60% 38,300 22,016
50 WV Wheeling Jesuit 5.00% 37,800 28,030
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