Student Debt at MSMC, and What it Means for You

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By: Jenny Hasbun

The cost of attending Mount Saint Mary College is lower than the New York state average for student borrowers, according to statistics provided by LendEDU, an online lending marketplace headquartered in Hoboken, New Jersey.

The organization reports the Mount’s average student loan debt for the 2018 academic year as $29,000, which is a little less than the state average and about $400 more than the national average. The Mount ranked 27 out of 71 on the list of New York colleges with the lowest student debt rates.

“Most undergraduate students begin their college career without a credit history established,” said Jacqueline Perez, director of financial aid in Student Financial Services. “Once you borrow a student loan you begin establishing a credit history. The loans become a part of your financial story.” As per the most recent statistics, federal loan debt decreased 3.70 percent since 2017 for more than three-quarters of MSMC graduates. Seventeen percent of graduates have incurred student debt from private loans at a decrease of nearly 24 percent.

“Missing a student loan payment or making a late payment will have a negative impact on your credit score,” said Perez. “Late payments remain on your credit report for up to seven years. This negative report can affect your ability to get a mortgage, a car loan, approval for a credit card or personal loan.”

Although the Mount is more expensive than nearby institutions like Vassar (which has an average debt rate of $21,473), SUNY New Paltz ($25,800), Mercy ($26,317) or SUNY Stony Brook ($28,780), it is more affordable than the neighboring Marist ($39,035), and 99 percent of last year’s incoming freshmen received financial aid.

“Mount Saint Mary offered many financial aid opportunities and scholarships when I was a student there,” said alum Makenzie Eyler, who graduated in 2014. “I always appreciated that you didn’t need to be a ‘straight A’ student in high school to get a scholarship.” 

On a greater scale, 63 percent of college students from New York graduate with student loans- New York is one of the more expensive states on the spectrum. Sitting at rank 40 of 51 on the list of least expensive states to attend college, New York is still more affordable than neighbors Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts.