Total Indiana University student loan debt has decreased by about $13.6 million from the 2016-17 school year to 2017-18. The recent drop is part of a larger trend.
The total amount of student loan debt held by IU students, both current and graduates, across all campuses has declined annually since the 2011-12 school year. James Kennedy, vice president for university student services and systems, pointed to three efforts that began about six years ago as the biggest reasons for the decline.
One is IU’s student debt letter, essentially an annual email to students reminding them of how much they had borrowed and what their monthly payment might be. That letter helped fuel interest in the university’s financial literacy initiatives, which include everything from short video clips on specific topics to expert consultations. The third effort was a push from the state government to encourage students to finish their degrees in four years.
“Spending more time than that for students that have loans can be very expensive,” Kennedy said.