FAMU has the worst student debt problem in the entire State University System of Florida. The members of FAMU’s Class of 2009 graduated with an average debt of $27,253.
Statewide, public and private college debt averaged $20,766. The national average was $24,000.
U.S. President Barack Obama invested billions more into federal Pell grants to help students and families weather tuition increases and a tough economy. The program’s total funds have climbed from $16.4 billion in 2008 to $25.3 billion in 2009 to $32 billion in 2010. The money still is not nearly enough, though.
“Despite the recent increases, the College Board found that the maximum Pell grant now covers just 34 percent of the average cost of attending a public four-year college, down from 45 percent twenty years ago,” said Lauren Asher, president of the Institute for College Access & Success. "The share of state grant aid that is tied to students’ financial need actually declined from 81 percent to 72 percent over the past decade. It is good news that public colleges are using more of their own aid to meet financial need, but they still haven’t crossed the halfway mark: only 42 percent of public college grants went to meet financial need in 2009-10, up from 28 percent ten years earlier.”
FAMU’s housing shortage makes college very expensive for the student body. Most students come from families that make $30,000 or less per year. 81 percent of FAMU students take out loans to help pay for their education.
Average Student Debt for Class of 2009*
*2009 data was unavailable for UWF.
Source: Project on Student Debt.