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ERIC Number: ED554748
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 218
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3030-3513-5
American Higher Education, High Tuition, and High Student Loans: The Debt Implications for Students during and after College Case Studies at the University of Hawai`i
Au, Helen O.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Hawai'i at Manoa
The purpose of this study was intended to examine the inner voices behind the students' choices of American higher education and their persistence in college in relation to financial factors, especially the student financial aid programs and their debt burdens during and after college. Case studies were used to answer the three research questions: 1) What are students' perceptions on the affordability of American higher education in the 21st century (2000-present)? To what extent are students and their families relying on loans to gain access to higher education? 2) What are the debt implications for students and their families during and after college? And 3) How do educational attainment and wages affect students' personal and professional satisfaction? Do they perceive education as a worthwhile investment for life? How so and in what way? The findings of this study revealed that American higher education is costly in the 21st century. Cost was a primary factor of students' college going decision. The majority of students had to rely on financial aid, loans in particular, to gain access to and persistence in colleges. Moreover, students must have satisfied their basic needs, e.g., food, shelter, transportation, etc., in order to seek education, otherwise, they would not have been able to pursue, attend, nor persist in college. Furthermore, students believed that higher education does provide higher personal satisfaction, but does not necessarily guarantee higher earning because of differences in their program of study and other uncontrollable variables such as economy. Moreover, the study results indicated that there was a lack of in-depth personal financial counseling prior, during, and after college for students. During college, students generally could manage the debt burden as long as financial aid continued to be available for them, but not after college. Students reported heavy debt burdens after college. The results from this study can be used to inform public of the severe impact of high costs and high loan debt to students' well-being; and to encourage the establishment of new policies and programs to refine student financial aid assistance programs. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Hawaii