Wed August 14, 2013
Student Debt Can Begin Taking A Toll Well Before Graduation
A study by an Indiana University sociologist says the stereotypical college experience portrayed in movies is increasingly rare.
The reason? Student debt.
Students with loan debt have a different college experience than those without debt, and it may affect them later in life. Indiana University sociologist Daniel Rudel says this is because college networking can determine whom you marry, where you work and whom your friends are.
“Much of the media coverage that you see of student loan debt these days has focused on the impact of those commitments after students leave college,” says Rudel. “We were interested in looking more at how loan debt affects the experiences that students have while they're in college.”
In interviews at 28 U.S. colleges, Rudel found that students working to pay off loans may have less time for extracurricular activities or studying.
Max Kasun from Milwaukee is a sophomore at University of Wisconsin-Madison. He says his debt so far is not significant and he hasn't had to work while attending college.
“Since I haven't worked yet in college I'll have to see how it impacts me,” he says. “But in high school it definitely was a burden it took time out of social life.”
For some, work is part of their social life. UW-Madison senior Ali Jagodzinski is from the Twin Cities. Her family pays for tuition, but she chips in for housing.
“My jobs that I've found have been kind of tailored to my interests — not just like working fast food restaurants,” says Jagodzinski. “There's been things I enjoyed doing, so I kind of see it as my extracurricular activities.”
According to the Institute for College Access and Success, 67 percent of four-year college students in Wisconsin have debt. On average, that burden was $26,000 in 2011.
Economy and Business