Are we surprised that at NYU, where tuition plus room and board costs well over $50K, the combined student debt is the highest in the country? It’s true: NYU has topped out the list of not-for-profit universities with the highest amount of student debt. The number is an incredible $659 million. More than Oprah Winfrey’s yearly pay, and, as Gawker’s Hamilton Nolan pointed out, more than the GDP of 12 countries.
The number comes from a study by the U.S. Department of Education. While we came in fourth for total student debt when compared with schemey “for-profit” “schools” like the University of Phoenix, we came in first compared to other not-for-profit schools, including massive schools like Ohio State and USC.
Now, NYU is a huge school, and this number is for all the student debt combined. We have a lot of students. And knowing NYU, this doesn’t necessarily come as a shock. But still: holy shit.
And, even knowing all this, almost 5,000 fresh-faced 18-year-olds are going to flood the school in two weeks and take on their own debt, adding to that total. This, in a country where student loan debt is now greater than credit card debt, where the unemployment rate for recent graduates is 10.6 percent, and where an undergraduate degree is maybe not the golden ticket to success that it once was.
Is it all worth it? Guess we’re the ones who will find out.