Debt: Associate Degree Recipients

By far the most common forms of loans for all groups of students are direct subsidized and unsubsidized loans from the federal government. In 2015–16, about 40 percent of undergraduate students—including both full-time and part-time students—borrowed to help finance their education. Among students who received an associate degree in 2015–16, almost half borrowed an average of $18,500, with a median debt among borrowers of $15,000 at graduation. Black or African American students and American Indian or Alaska Native students had the highest rates of borrowing (67.2 percent each).

Borrowing Rates Among Associate Degree Recipients, by Race and Ethnicity: 2015-16
Total Borrowing: Associate Degree Recipients, by Race and Ethnicity: 2015-16


U.S. Department of Education, National Postsecondary Student Aid Study, 2016

Estimate for borrowing rates among international student associate degree recipients should be interpreted with caution. Ratio of standard error to estimate is >30 percent but <50 percent.

Estimate suppressed for total borrowing of Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander and international student associate degree recipients. Reporting standards not met.

Total borrowing of associate degree recipients shows the average amount borrowed per borrower.