When it comes to their kids, parents will do just about anything that is asked of them. Because ultimately, no matter how trying the task may be, seeing their child happy is well worth all of the effort.

This type of unselfishness on the part of parents applies to any aspect of life. In youth, parents were always there to tend to every need when their kid was sick. As one got older, parents were still there to help study or hone their child's sporting skills, or even pick them up when they stayed out just a little too late. And of course, let us not forget about the college years.

Even though college marks the time when a child leaves the nest, parents are still there to answer every beckon call.  Whether it be homesickness or a yearning for a nice little home-cooked meal, parents would be there.

The one thing about college that can be difficult for parent and child alike is that the cost of higher education can be quite expensive. However, parents are willing to pay any price if it means they would get to see their child walk at graduation to receive their college diploma. 

One way parents are able to help shoulder the cost of college is through cosigning on a student loan. Cosigning on a loan makes the parents an equal partner in repaying the loan. This means that if the child makes a late payment, the parent's credit score is negatively impacted. 

There is another way parents can help pay for their kid's college education without the risks associated with cosigning: Parent PLUS loans. 

Parent PLUS loans are student loans taken out exclusively by the parent to pay for their child's education; only the parent is responsible in repayment and the child does not have to worry about anything except getting A's. Parent PLUS loans can still saddle parents with debt, but some schools leave the parent with less debt than others.​

Using data licensed from Peterson's, The Student Loan Report has recognized the 250 colleges and universities in the U.S. that leave parents with the least amount of debt after taking out Parent PLUS loans. While parents are willing to do whatever for their children, money still matters, and these schools have proven to be the most cost-effective options for parents looking to send their child off to college.

Top 250 Colleges With the Lowest Student Loan Debt for Parents


The data used for this report were pulled from a licensed Financial Aid data set provided by Peterson's. In order to calculate the average Parent PLUS debt per undergraduate student, we took the total sum of undergraduate Parent PLUS debt and divided it by the number of undergraduate students attending the university.

​The data used in this report pertain to the academic year of 2015 - 2016, which is the most recent data set Peterson's has to offer. These numbers are self-reported by the colleges themselves. This report consists of 250 schools; 214 of these schools are private, while 36 of them are public.