I've just started playing with a large set of university data. So much data, so little time. Lemme give you a couple of highlights from some quick-and-dirty analyses. There are three columns that contain the average debt of students from low (below $30k), middle ($30-75k), and high (over $75k) income families. I found a few surprises, if I'm reading the numbers correctly.
Let's start with the high income college debt. The leading school is Albany State ($25,000 average debt), followed by SCAD ($21,500) and Georgia Tech ($21,000). Emory and Mercer come in next. UGA, where I teach, is 10th at $17,250. Next is middle income college debt. Leading the way is Morehouse ($27,000), followed by Shorter ($26,000), Spelman ($25,300) and Albany State ($25,187). UGA is 22nd at $17,000. Finally, those lower income families. Spelman leads the list ($25,000), followed by Morehouse ($26,675), Shorter ($25,563) and Albany State ($23,637). Oh, UGA is 27th at $16,224.
So what can we take away from this? There are a lot of consistencies in the list. Albany State, for example. And Morehouse.
When I have time I'm going to correlate the debt to the salaries reported for graduates, see how it all falls. Or perhaps look at completion rate compared to debt incurred (for example, Spelman has the 6th highest completion rate, while Albany State is in the middle of the pack with a 40 percent completion rate). There is lots of data here, accessible to me as a member of Investigative Reporters & Editors.
The list of schools alone is fun. We have the Gupton Jones College of Funeral Service, by far my favorite, though Beauty College of America is a close second.
The data is the entire country, I just carved out a Georgia slice for some analyses. I can rank order by any variable, or look at relationships among the variables. Again, so much data, so little time.