Data Sources and Research

  • Project on Student Debt, from The Institute for College Access & Success for annual reports on average debt-loads of four-year college graduates.

  • Federal Student Loan Data Center to download macro-level federal student loan information.

  • The Urban Institute’s Data Portal, which breaks down sometimes clunky government data into more digestible formats. You can look up defaults and loan repayment, plus many other education stats.

  • College Scorecard data for default and repayment rates by college and broken down by student demographics. These data can be difficult to sort and understand. Prepare to spend some time with it.

  • College Board’s annual Trends in Student Aid report for a historical look at borrowing levels together with statistics on grants and other financial aid.

  • Federal Reserve Bank of New York, which publishes quarterly statistics on household debt and delinquencies (including student loan debt), as well as research on other student debt topics.

  • MeasureOne used to publish quarterly reports on outstanding student debt, including the most comprehensive look at private student debt. The company shifted focused in 2019, so it won’t produce future reports on private debt, but you can access older ones here.

  • Beware sources: Surveys of student loan borrowers with loose methodology. Some surveys can have little value and exist to drive traffic to websites that make money through affiliate links. In one case, a company made up a so-called expert named Drew Cloud to promote its surveys.