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ERIC Number: ED503684
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Dec
Pages: 40
Abstractor: ERIC
Student Aversion to Borrowing: Who Borrows and Who Doesn't
Cunningham, Alisa F.; Santiago, Deborah A.
Institute for Higher Education Policy
For millions of students, the increasing cost of a college education, combined with lower rates of growth in grant aid, have resulted in additional reliance on student loans to pay for college. The large and growing role of student loans introduces a concern that an aversion to borrowing could be limiting college enrollment choices for some students. This report highlights the characteristics of undergraduate students who are least likely to borrow, using a number of quantitative demographic and enrollment characteristics as well as information from interviews with students and financial aid administrators to present a picture of the borrowing patterns of students who choose to enroll in college and provide suggestions about why certain students may not borrow, even when borrowing seems to be a logical choice. The following are recommended next steps for policymakers and institutional leaders to help students understand borrowing for college: (1) Help high school counselors and others address issues of loan aversion; (2) Develop institutional programs that extend financial literacy and offer emergency financial support; (3) Consider changes in the financial aid system to reduce the need for borrowing; and (4) Evaluate the wisdom of prohibiting students who need or want to borrow from doing so. Questions for further research are also presented. (Contains 9 figures.) [This document was published in partnership with Excelencia in Education, and with the additional support of TG (The Guarantor of Choice[TM]), and USA Funds.]
Institute for Higher Education Policy. 1320 19th Street NW Suite 400, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 202-861-8223; Fax: 202-861-9307; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: The Education Resources Institute, Inc. (TERI)
Authoring Institution: Institute for Higher Education Policy
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A