Sweet Briar ranks among best schools in U.S. for student loan repayment success, according to report

January 19, 2017 | Janika Carey

Graduation-2016Sweet Briar College is ranked among the best schools in the country for preparing graduates to repay their student loan debt. The ranking is part of Student Loan Report’s Student Loan Default Rates by School by State report.

The report compares federal student loan default rates of more than 4,500 colleges and universities in the United States. Sweet Briar is ranked at No. 10 for Lowest Student Loan Default Rates in Virginia, and in the top-10 percent among all schools in the nation.

The study was prepared using the Department of Education’s default rate data, said Student Loan Report’s Drew Cloud.

“Sweet Briar is clearly doing a great job at setting up students to successfully repay their debt,” Cloud said. “Student loan debt is a problem that is hampering too many of our nation’s young adults, and we are happy to see that some schools, like Sweet Briar, are doing their part to improve the situation.”

It’s something Sweet Briar’s director of financial aid, Wanda Spradley, has been working on for years. In September, when LendEDU ranked Sweet Briar No. 9 among Virginia colleges for Lowest Student Loan Debt at Graduation, Spradley observed that students are becoming more aware of the implications of borrowing money for tuition and other expenses. A big part of her job is helping students understand how much they will have to pay back, and why they’re borrowing it.

“We talk about budgeting, go over what all the terms mean and ask them, ‘Do you really need this extra money that you want to borrow?’ ” Spradley said.

According to Student Loan Report and LendEDU, Spradley’s approach is working.

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