Eat, Drink & Be Happy


College Student Fact Sheet

A May 2009 Boston Globe article estimates that there are 18,248,128 college students in the Unites States.

According to the 2008 Project on Student Debt from the National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS):

  • Of the graduates from four-year colleges and universities in 2008, 67% – or approximately 1.4 million – had student loan debt. 
  • For graduating seniors with student loans, the average debt rose 24% from $18,650 in 2004 to $23,200 in 2008.

In its 2008 report “How Undergraduate Students Use Credit Cards,” Sallie Mae determined:

  • Of college undergraduates, approximately one third put tuition on their credit card.
  • Textbooks, school supplies and other direct education expenses were most commonly charged to credit card by 92% of undergraduate card holders. This is an increase of 85% from Sallie Mae’s last study conducted in 2004.
  • At least one credit card is held by 84% of undergraduates, while 4.6 cards is the average.
  • $3,173 is the average  balance of undergraduate cards, and the median debt is $1,645.
  • Averaging a credit card debt of over $4,100 are graduating seniors, while the median freshman student card debt equals $939.

In the annual report “Trends in College Pricing,” the College Board found the estimated undergraduate budget for a student attending a four-year, public, in-state institution and living on campus for 2009-10 totals $19,388. It breaks down accordingly:

  • $7,020 for tuition and fees
  • $8,193 for room and board
  • $1,122 for books and supplies
  • $1.079 for transportation
  • $1,974 for other expenses

$5,400 is the average amount of grant aid and federal tax assistance four-year, full-time students at public institutions receive, according to the College Board “Trends in College Pricing” report.

As stated by the “Trends in College Pricing” report,  the common tuition and fee increase at four-year, public colleges in 2009-10 totals 6.5% for in-state students and 6.2% for out-of-state students.


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