PRESS RELEASE from Tennessee Tech University, May 12, 2017:

Some of the 1,500 students who graduated from Tennessee Tech last week will soon begin to start paying back student loans

When it comes to setting up students for successful student loan repayments, Tennessee Tech University is one of the best schools in the nation.

According to the Student Loan Report (, Tech was ranked 16th in the nation and first in Tennessee among public universities in a Student Debt Repayment Success Indicator (SDRSI) study. Tech placed 34th overall in the nation and second in the state when private colleges and universities were considered.

“This study reflects accurately the students that choose to attend our institution and the importance our office devotes to indebtedness,” said Lester McKenzie, Tech director of financial aid. “This doesn’t just cast a positive light on the financial aid office, but the admissions office for getting the right fit students, the faculty and staff for their devotion to the holistic student and many other offices such as career services, disability services, records, and the bursar’s office.”

The SDRSI study factored in the average student loan debt per borrower, the average early career pay and the default rate.

“The metrics it uses are good parameters for establishing a threshold that combines not only the student debt load, used by many other surveys and rankings, but also the beginning pay of graduates and our default rate,” McKenzie said. “Use of these three indicators gives students who are making a decision whether to attend, or even more implicitly whether to borrow federal loan dollars.”

The study showed Tech’s early career pay at $53,800 with the debt per borrower at $19,363 and the default rate at 6.17 percent for an SDRSI rating of 2.61.

“Our financial aid office ensures students are fully aware of their indebtedness and how loans can assist a student in need of last dollars to pay their tuition bill and caution students to only borrow what they need to attend class and be an active member of the campus community,” said McKenzie. “The university provides unique opportunities for students and their families to become aware of borrowing too much and try to find last dollars from other sources before a student loan is borrowed.”

For more information on the study, go to