An analysis by US News & World Report on which students graduated with the most and the least debt put Clark Atlanta above every other school in the country. The magazine ranked a total of 270 colleges.
The average debt of a 2011 Clark Atlanta graduate is $47,066, and 94 percent of students borrow money to attend the school.
But not all HBCUs had such bad news. Howard University was on the other end of the spectrum, ranking sixth in the country on the list of colleges where students had the least debt, coming in at an average of $15,080.
“Students borrowing to attend any college should research their school, major, and career options before taking out loans. The total amount you borrow should be less than your predicted starting salary after graduation,” financial aid expert Mark Kantrowitz told U.S. News & World Report.
As the recipient of millions in research grants every year, Clark Atlanta is classified by the Carnegie Foundation as a site with high research activity. The school has received impressive rankings in national lists of the top HBCUs.
Clark Atlanta recently made news when the school announced that the Mighty Marching Panthers band would be suspended because of suspected hazing. Clark said there was no immediate evidence of hazing or foul play, but it is investigating the allegations.
“Even the possibility of hazing is unacceptable under any circumstance,” the university said in a statement. “Ideally, the allegations will prove untrue and the band can return to its planned schedule of performances as quickly as possible. However, regardless of the findings, Clark Atlanta is prepared to take whatever actions are necessary to ensure a safe, healthy, nonthreatening experience for our student musicians.”
The school also announced earlier this month that its Center for Cancer Research and Therapeutic Development at Clark Atlanta University has received a $5.8 million federal grant toward prostate cancer research and education.
The five-year grant from the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities will finance research, training and community outreach activities in the African-American community.