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Education Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Higher education

University of Louisville

2019

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Journal

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Full-Text Articles in Education

Social Dimensions Of Student Debt: A Data Mining Analysis, Dirk Witteveen, Paul Attewell Oct 2019

Social Dimensions Of Student Debt: A Data Mining Analysis, Dirk Witteveen, Paul Attewell

Journal of Student Financial Aid

Media commentary on undergraduates' loan debt portrays a crisis in which many students are unable to pay back their loans, having borrowed large sums and lacking sufficient post-college income to repay. Several scholars have questioned the media accounts, noting that indebtedness is highest among students from high income families, while defaults predominate among low debt students. Using a data mining technique known as CART, we analyze national data on the indebtedness of recent baccalaureate graduates, to uncover combinations of social characteristics that are associated with loan pressure: the ratio of indebtedness to post-college earnings. We find that students from lower …