UC Santa Barbara students and their parents borrowed a total of $91,162,535 in student loans during the 2016-17 school year, according to the current Campus Profile.

The number of students taking out federal subsidized and unsubsidized loans has risen since 2006, with community members attributing this increase to the rising cost of tuition.  Will Tran / Daily Nexus

The number of students taking out federal subsidized and unsubsidized loans has risen since 2006, with community members attributing this increase to the rising cost of tuition.

The University of California Regents voted Thursday afternoon to increase the supplemental fee levied on out-of-state students by 3.5 percent — $978 — to raise it to $28,992.

During the 2016-17 school year, students took out $33,851,988 in subsidized direct loans and $18,838,521 in unsubsidized direct loans, both of which come from the federal government. The government pays the interest on subsidized student loans while students are in college or the loan is in deferral.

Students are eligible for deferral under certain conditions, such as if the student is unemployed or in graduate school, and do not have to make payments (though interest will accrue on unsubsidized loans).

President Donald Trump recently proposed eliminating subsidized student loans in his 2019 budget proposal.

During the 2016-17 school year, students received an average amount of $4,227.80 in subsidized direct loans and $3,069.66 in unsubsidized direct loans.  Both loans carry a maximum interest rate of 4.45 percent annually, according to the U.S. Department of Education.

Other loan sources include federal Perkins loans, which are issued by UCSB, federal parent P.L.U.S. loans and private agency loans. Students borrowed an average of $2,185.01 in Perkins loans and $13,839.81 in loans from private agencies while parents took out an average of $14,809 in parent P.L.U.S. loans during the 2016-2017 school year.

Graph A shows the total loans issued to UCSB students each academic year from 2007-08 to 2016-17. This data was compiled from the UCSB Office of Accountability and Planning’s campus profiles.

Graph A

Data courtesy of UCSB’s Bureau of Accountability and Planning. Hayley Tice / Daily Nexus

The campus profiles did not include numbers for loans from the Santa Barbara Foundation in 2013 and 2015.

Michael Miller, the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Enrollment at UCSB, said in an email that the program was eliminated.

The amount of money distributed for subsidized and unsubsidized loans increased dramatically between the academic years of 2005-06 and 2010-11.

This climb follows an increase in the number of students taking out loans as shown in Graph B.  The number of students taking out unsubsidized direct loans increased by 166 percent, while the number of students taking out subsidized loans increased by about 32 percent.

Graph B

Data courtesy of UCSB’s Bureau of Accountability and Planning. Hayley Tice / Daily Nexus

Miller said in an email that this was “a direct reflection of the increasing costs of higher education.”

Tuition over this period increased from $6,993 for California residents to $9,402, an increase of about 34 percent. It is currently about $12,630 for residents, with an additional $28,014 for non-California residents.

In January, The Regents of the University of California decided to postpone a vote on raising the base tuition both in-state and out-of-state students pay to May. The proposal would increase tuition by $342 to $12,972.

The UCSB Associated Students Senate recently passed a resolution opposing the proposed tuition increase and encouraging the California state government to contribute more money to the University of California.

The resolution says that the rising cost of college is “forcing 55 percent of UC students to take on thousands of dollars in loans.”

“There is simply not adequate funding to provide for necessary student services like sufficient classroom space, mental health resources, or enough faculty,” A.S. Senator Brooke Kopel, one of the resolution’s authors, said in an email.

The number of Perkins loans accepted decreased in the 2016-17 academic year, however, by about 44 percent, from $2,500 to 915, although the numbers have rebounded since then to $1,136 during this period.

Miller said this was due to the federal government phasing out the Perkins loan.

“The Department of Education restricted who could accept new loans,” he said, regarding the drop between school years 2005-06 and 2010-11. He added that Perkins loans will not be available for the 2018-19 academic year.

During the 2016-17 school year, 1,136 UCSB students received Perkins loans.

Like the total numbers shown in Graph A, the campus profiles did not include numbers for students taking out loans from the Santa Barbara Foundation in 2013 and 2015.

The average amount of student loans UCSB students have received each year has stayed roughly the same, as shown in Graph C, aside from fluctuations in private loans and an approximately 23 percent increase in average parent loans.

Graph C

Data courtesy of UCSB’s Bureau of Accountability and Planning. Hayley Tice / Daily Nexus

The campus profiles did not include data from the Santa Barbara Foundation concerning the average amount students took out in loans from the Santa Barbara Foundation from 2013-2016.

Seventy percent of UCSB undergraduates and 97 percent of graduate students received financial aid in the 2016-17 school year. Of the students who received need-based financial aid, 79.3 percent of their determined need was met by that financial aid, according to the common data set.

According to a report released in January from the Department of Education, 38.5 percent of students nationally in the 2015-16 academic year took out student loans. The number increased to 53.8 percent of borrowing students who attend four-year public doctorate-granting institutions like UCSB.

About 53.4 percent of UCSB undergraduate students took out loans in the 2016-17 school year, according to UCSB’s common data set.

A January statement from UC Board of Regents Chair George Kieffer and UC President Janet Napolitano called for increased funding from the state government.

“The governor’s budget plan does not include funding for UC enrollment growth,” the statement said, adding that UC is committed to adding 2,000 new undergraduates in 2018 and has requested funding for 500 more graduate students as well.

Kopel attributed increases in students receiving loans at UCSB to rises in tuition.

“The underlying problem here is that since 2006, UC tuition has increased exponentially,” she said in an email. “The UC Regents continue to pass tuition hikes partially because the state legislature consistently pursues a policy of disinvestment in UC education.”

Get the Data

If you’re interested in viewing the data we used in this story, you can download an Excel file of the total amounts of loans students borrowed, the number of students who took out loans each year, and the average amounts of each type of loan here.

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