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Purdue says majority of students graduate debt free

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(The Center Square) – While the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a student loan forgiveness program last week, the decision will not likely affect many Purdue University graduates.

On Friday, after the 6-3 decision in Biden v. Nebraska, the state-run university based in West Lafayette issued a statement indicating that nearly two-thirds – 62% – of its 2022 graduates earned their degree without racking up debt.

And those students who did rely on loans are making more than enough to pay them off. The university’s fact sheet stated last year’s grads had an income-to-student debt ratio greater than 6-to-1, based on graduates’ self-reporting data.

“The average debt per 2022 Purdue graduate was $11,373,” the school said. “This means, on average, that it takes two months of (pre-tax) earning of a Purdue graduate’s first-year salary to fully pay off the total student debt upon receiving a degree.”

The school added that less than 1% of Purdue students who took on loans have had difficulty repaying.

Last August, President Biden announced his administration would cancel up to $10,000 in student loan debt for individuals making $125,000 or less. Those who also received Pell Grants in college would qualify for up to $20,000 in relief.

In the majority opinion, Chief Justice John Roberts said the administration lacked the power to make such sweeping reforms. Roberts said the HEROES Act, the 20-year-old federal law Biden cited in announcing the policy, allows for the Secretary of Education to make some changes to student loan policies. However, that does not mean the secretary can make changes that allow millions of borrowers to have thousands in debt canceled.

According to EducationData.org, 906,500 Hoosiers have student loan debt, and the average amount owed is $32,874. More than half of those borrowers are age 35 or younger.

Tuition at Purdue is $9,992 for in-state residents and $28,794 for out-of-state students. The school said one-year borrowing has dropped by 40% since 2012.

“Purdue’s bold moves and relentless innovations have saved students and their families over $150 million per year for a cumulative total of over $1.3 billion in savings since the 2012-13 academic year,” the school said.

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