College student loan debt doubles

Researchers: Schools not keeping pace with financial education

By Lindsey Elliott, Kansas State University new production specialist
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Student loan debt has doubled since 2007 and colleges aren't doing enough to educate students on their finances, according to new research from Kansas State University.

"Financial issues are one of the top reasons, if not the No. 1 reason, that students drop out of college," said Sonya Britt, a K-State researcher. "Thirty percent of students who have student loans drop out of college, which is a pretty alarming percentage."

Student load debt is higher than credit card debt and all other consumer debt.

The new report from K-State found that despite the increasing student loan debt, most universities don't have financial education programs.

"Most of the students who enter college don't get a financial literacy course when they're in high school, so a lot of times they're just not familiar with basic money management skills, making payments, the awareness of how fast credit card debt accumulates, so there's a lot of need, but not a lot of resources for college students currently," Britt said.

Britt said colleges should start small and offer one-time events or monthly financial education sessions.

She also recommended that students estimate their future salary to determine how much student loan debt they can manage.

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