It's Tournament Time! The NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament is about to begin and GradFIn is excited to see if our bracket picks will be boom or bust.
This year GradFin has selected its bracket picks based on the average student debt per graduate at each college represented in the NCAA tournament. We retrieved this data from The Institute for College Access & Success, who posted this data on their website. Click here to view this data.
We picked the winner of each game based on the average student debt per borrower and the winner has a higher average and thus advances to the next round. For example, see below, the average borrower at the University of Kansas is a bit less than the average borrower at Austin Peay ($25,268 versus $28,820).
This is a major upset, but we are confident Austin Peay will win this matchup based on this statistic.
One of the most interesting match-ups in our mind is the battle between two Philadelphia schools, Villanova and Temple in Round 2 of the tournament.
In another upset, we pick 16-seed Florida Gulf Coast University over number 1 seed University of North Carolina in the East Region. This may be a surprise to many about this upset, but the numbers tell us that Florida Gulf Coast University graduates average almost $4,000 more in student loans UNC. However, in the next Round we have Florida Gulf Coast University losing, as Providence advances to the Sweet Sixteen.
Our Final Four Teams are very interesting - all major private schools, two from Pennsylvania, one from Indiana, and one from Virginia. We have Temple out of the South, Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) from the West, Pittsburgh from the East, and Butler from the Midwest. All of these schools average well above $30,000 in student loans per graduate.
The Champion of the GradFin bracket is University of Pittsburgh, who edges out Temple University, with an average student debt per graduate of $36,466.
Check out our full Bracket below and good luck to all the basketball teams participating this year.
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