A surprisingly large number of currently enrolled college students severely underestimate their student debt, with many students not realising that they have any loan debt at all, according to a new report from the Brookings Institute.
The Brookings report — called “Are College Students Borrowing Blindly?” — charted current college students’ knowledge of their own student debt. The results were not optimistic.
“About half of all first-year students in the US seriously underestimate how much student debt they have,” according to the report.
Additionally, the report found that 28% of students with federal loans reported having no federal debt. Another 14% with federal loans said they had no student debt at all.
The numbers may be even more out of touch than they appear. “These results are particularly surprising given that we have limited the data to first year undergraduate students, who are unlikely to have student debt from prior years and thus should not be confused by previously accumulated debt,” according to the report.
The Brookings Institute took this data from the National Postsecondary Student Aid Study, which, they note, “was administered to a nationally representative sample of college students during the spring of the 2011-12 school year.”
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