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ERIC Number: EJ1062442
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Jun
Pages: 26
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 70
ISSN: ISSN-0361-0365
Helping or Hindering? The Effects of Loans on Community College Student Persistence
McKinney, Lyle; Burridge, Andrea Backscheider
Research in Higher Education, v56 n4 p299-324 Jun 2015
More community college students are taking out loans than ever before and their median debt levels are increasing. This trend is disconcerting because community college borrowers are overrepresented among loan defaulters and those who dropout without having earned a degree. While not without criticism, a growing number of community colleges are choosing not to participate in the federal student loan programs, citing a desire to protect their students from future financial hardships. This study used data from the Beginning Postsecondary Student (BPS:04/09) survey and propensity score matching techniques to examine the effects of loans on persistence for students enrolled in associate's degree programs. Results indicated that borrowing during the 1st year had a positive effect on persistence at the end of year one, but had a negative effect on persistence measured three and 6 years after initial enrollment. As community college students assess their prospects for degree completion and the return on their financial investment in higher education, we hypothesize that borrowers are more likely to become dissatisfied with their investment decision than non-borrowers and choose to dropout rather than take on additional loan debt. Findings from this study suggest the need to carefully reconsider current policies and practices regarding loan use among community college students.
Springer. 233 Spring Street, New York, NY 10013. Tel: 800-777-4643; Tel: 212-460-1500; Fax: 212-348-4505; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Two Year Colleges; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Beginning Postsecondary Students Longitudinal Study