ERIC Number: ED451759
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001
Why Do Students Borrow So Much? Recent National Trends in Student Loan Debt. ERIC Digest.
Redd, Kenneth E.
College students are leaving their higher education institutions with more educational loan debt than ever before. From academic year 1994-1997 to 1999-2000, the amount postsecondary education students borrowed through federal student loan programs jumped from $24 billion to $33.7 billion, and total debt for borrowers who received master's and other advanced degrees more than doubled. Recent data reveal that much of the increased borrowing occurred because of the expansions of the loan programs rather than growth in college costs. Many new borrowers come from middle and upper income families, and most undergraduate borrowers do not appear to have been adversely affected by their added indebtedness. Several possible reasons have been identified for the increase in the growth of student loans. Increases in federal grant aid have not kept pace with rising costs, and students' financial needs have increased as educational costs have risen. Increases in loan limits and the ease of borrowing have allowed more students to receive loans. This last reason appears to have contributed substantially to the growth in student loans. Most undergraduate loan recipients appear to be able to repay their loans with little difficulty, as long as they complete their degree programs. Repayment obligations are much more difficult for professional school students, who often leave school with debts of $100,000 or more and for undergraduate borrowers who do not complete degree programs. (Contains 13 references.) (SLD)
Descriptors: College Students, Debt (Financial), Educational Trends, Higher Education, Loan Repayment, Paying for College, Student Loan Programs
ERIC Clearinghouse on Higher Education, One Dupont Circle, Suite 630, Washington, DC 20036-1183. Tel: 800-956-7739 (Toll Free).
Publication Type: ERIC Publications; ERIC Digests in Full Text
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Higher Education, Washington, DC.; George Washington Univ., Washington, DC. Graduate School of Education and Human Development.