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Starting salaries higher and student debt low at ASC

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New students are moving onto campus at Alfred State this fall, and statistics show they are building a bright financial future

By Andrew Harris

 Many years before the national debate focused on student debt, Alfred State College (ASC) has offered a simple solution. Keep student costs low, aid and merit scholarships high, while starting salaries for graduates keep growing. Less of the family budget money going out and more money coming in helps make dreams of going to college into reality at Alfred State.

“There is so much attention these days across the country about students with massive debt at graduation. Our statistics show that is just not the case for Pioneers,” stated Enrollment Management Vice President Betsy Penrose. “While we are the number one SUNY regional college according to US News, you do not have to pay more for a quality education. For our students who do incur debt, among regional college peers we have the lowest average federal loan debt at $14,000 for graduates earning a four-year degree. That is not all. For SUNY regional college students outside of New York City, we have the highest median starting salary at $48,900. Less debt and more in the paycheck is what every family wants.”

Compare that $14,000 to the average national student loan debt of $37,693 according to That is 170% more debt for the national average versus the cost savings at Alfred State. The cost is even higher for loan debt at nonprofit private schools.

Working with Alfred State financial aid counselors, Alfred State students find funding through Alfred State merit scholarships, Excelsior, TAP and the federal Pell Grant program. The latest student debt relief plan from Washington is for Pell-eligible students to gain up to $20,000 from loan cancellations. That is higher than the average ASC student ever owes and would wipe out all their debt easily.

Alfred State is recognized as a leader among regional colleges for helping graduates achieve social mobility with a higher starting paycheck. Among SUNY regional colleges, again US News ranks Alfred State number one for social mobility, a measure of how much ASC supports low-income and first-generation families where the student’s parents never gained a college degree. ASC finds ways to help the next generation grow and earn more.

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