Uncovering the billions of dollars in student debt you never heard of


There’s a whole world of student debt that no one is talking about. In fact, most people don’t know it exists. Millions of students owe billions of dollars directly to their colleges and universities, and without the safeguards of federal student loans, these debts can be especially damaging. Some come in the form of loans provided directly by the colleges. Some students have their transcripts withheld for small unpaid balances. And a student’s original bill can skyrocket when debt is handed to private collection agencies.

We’re investigating this hidden debt. 

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BY THE NUMBERS

$4 billion

Minimum estimated amount colleges have loaned directly to students 

$25

Amount of debt that can prevent a student from getting a transcript from certain public universities