Survey Finds at Least Half of College Undergraduates Use Student Loans to Help Cover College Costs

College Ave Student Loans survey also finds at least 4 out of 10 students use their own savings and income to fund their college degree; however when it comes to borrowing, less than half understand the financial terms and paperwork associated with student loans

(Wilmington, DE) July 16, 2020 – Student loans are part of the college financing plans for at least half of current undergraduate students, according to a recent College Ave Student Loans survey. The national College Ave survey of 1,057 undergraduate students conducted by Barnes & Noble College InsightsSM in May found college students and their families rely on a variety of resources to pay for college. Beyond scholarships and grants and parental support, that includes federal student loans (51%), student income and savings (45%), private student loans (13%), and the work-study program (12%) to cover college costs.

For some families, the college funding gap has widened. Of those families whose college financing plans have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic (44%), more than half of students (56%) say they will need to borrow more for the upcoming school year, according to the survey.

“When your child is determined to achieve a college degree, families likely consider a variety of funding options – including student loans.” said Joe DePaulo, Co-Founder and CEO of College Ave Student Loans. “Identifying the right loan option can be stressful, especially during a whirlwind time filled with competing demands. That’s why we give borrowers loan options with great rates and flexible repayment plans, useful tools on our web site, excellent customer service and a fast, three-minute application. Our goal is to make the student loan process one of the simplest and easiest pieces on the road to college.”

According to the survey, a majority of students (66%) worry about covering their college costs. To help students and families stress less this student loan season, College Ave offers the following game plan:

  1. Contact your financial aid office. If your finances are coming up short to pay for the upcoming school year – and especially if your finance situation has changed – reach out to your school’s financial aid office. They may be able to find additional funding options to help cover the gap.
  2. Educate your child on how student loan repayment will affect future finances. The survey found that while the majority of students who take out student loans understand the general concept that they will owe more money than they borrowed (90%), less than half (47%) feel comfortable with the financial terms and paperwork associated with the student loans. And the majority (77%) do not know the what their monthly student loan payment will be when they graduate. Perhaps, that’s why only 6 out of 10 (60%) feel confident they will actually be able to pay back their student loans. Empower your child on how to borrow smart now – life lessons that will continue beyond school and into their adulthood years.
  3. Borrow federal loans in the student’s name first. Federal loans in the student’s name have low fixed rates and carry special benefits, such as public service forgiveness and income driven repayment options, that are not typically available on private loans. When federal loans in the student’s name don’t cover your full costs, private student loans may be an option for you.
  4. Look for a co-signer with strong credit for the best rates. If applying for private student loans, a cosigner with strong credit can help the student get approved and may help them qualify for a better interest rate. With the College Ave credit pre-qualification tool, you can find out if your credit qualifies for a College Ave loan and what rates to expect before applying, without hurting your credit.
  5. Balance monthly budget and total cost. When shopping for private loans, look for options like the ones at College Ave that give you choices about when you start making payments and how long you take to pay back the loan so you can balance your monthly budget while minimizing your total cost. And, if you can, make payments while in school. Even as little as $25 a month during school can help save money over the life of the loan. To see how much can be saved, visit the College Ave student loan calculator.

To learn more about your college financing options, visit College Ave Student Loans.

About the Survey

The College Ave Student Loans survey was and conducted by Barnes & Noble College InsightsSM. The national online survey of undergraduate students who attend a 4-year college or university at one of the campuses served by Barnes & Noble College had 1,057 respondents and was fielded in May 2020. Last year, Barnes & Noble College Insights conducted more than 50 research studies and 100+ survey polls of students, faculty and parents that interact with one of its 772 campus bookstores across the nation.

About College Ave Student Loans

College Ave Student Loans is simplifying the student loan experience so students can get on with what matters most: preparing for a bright future. As a fintech lending company with a sole focus on private student loans, we’re using technology and our deep industry expertise to connect families who need to cover education costs. By specializing in student loans, we are able to give customers the attention they deserve and deliver loans that are simple, clear, and personalized for the individual.

About Barnes & Noble College

Barnes & Noble College, a Barnes & Noble Education company, is a leading operator of college bookstores in the United States. Barnes & Noble College currently operates 772 campus bookstores and the school-branded e-commerce sites for each store, serving more than 5 million college students and faculty nationwide. General information on Barnes & Noble College can be obtained by visiting the Company’s website:

Media Contacts

Katie Sullivan, Duffy & Shanley, Inc., [email protected], 508-641-2404


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