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SBE 2020: Submission Detail

ID Number: 30
Title: The Debt Society: College and Beyond
Lead Author: Dwyer, Rachel E
Abstract: Americans are increasingly financing their lives with debt. The widespread availability of debt is a recent development and one in part intended to make credit available as a benefit to less advantaged members of society previously denied this resource. Important questions are emerging, however, about the advantages and risks of widespread mortgaging of the future to finance the present. Americans begin taking on debt at an increasingly early age with borrowing to finance college. It is important to know to what extent, and for whom, is debt-based financing of college resulting in higher educational attainment. Circumstantially, educational debt is rising at the same time as completion rates are declining, suggesting that the strategy of funding college for all through personal debt is not an overwhelming success. Possible longer-term consequences of debt are even less well understood. Will undergraduate debt affect continuation rates to graduate school? Will carrying significant debt into early adulthood delay marriage, childbearing, and home ownership? What health consequences might result from the ongoing stress of carrying debt starting even before adulthood? Answers to these questions will necessitate the collection of more detailed data on debt and contributions from a range of social science disciplines.
PDF: Dwyer_Rachel_30.pdf

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