New Analysis Suggests Which Colleges Help Disadvantaged Students

Looking for a college that helps lots of low-income students get good-paying jobs and teaches them the importance of repaying their debts? Take a look at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Science.

Nearly half of the students at the Boston-based school come from families earning less than $40,000 a year—a group that, statistics show, is far more likely than others to drop out of college and default on student loans. But 68 percent of MCPHS freshmen graduate within six years. And fully 83 percent of recent MCPHS graduates were repaying their student loans last year. Both rates are much higher than the national averages for all students. Just 51 percent of recent college graduates were paying down their college loans last year. And just 56 percent of all freshmen graduate within six years.

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Among the stars are niche private colleges such as MCPHS, the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, and the Polytechnic Institute of New York University. Several public universities also stand out: Most of the University of California campuses, for example, take in high numbers of disadvantaged teens but also report unusually high graduation and loan repayment rates. Two New York City for-profit colleges also boast high loan repayment rates: the School of Visual Arts and the Laboratory Institute of Merchandising.

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