Friday, May 18 • 3:45pm - 5:15pm
D3a-Education Loan Debt and Well-being of Young Adult College Students (APLUS)

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Fenaba Addo, Joyce Serido, Jessie Rudi - The unprecedented growth in young adults’ debt portfolio has increased interest among education policy advocates and research scholars on the effects of accruing student loan debt while pursuing a college degree in young adulthood. One area that has received relatively little attention is the relationship between student loan debt and health. If financial stress related to student debt acquisition as an undergraduate is contributing to poor health this may impact academic performance, which can have long-term impacts on degree attainment, career prospects, and later life well-being. Using regression-based models for panel data, this study examines the short-term effect of student loan debt on young adult physical health, depressive symptoms, and life satisfaction. Our preliminary analysis suggests there are health disparities present by student loan status at the undergraduate level. Students with loans report lower mean levels of well-being across several metrics including life satisfaction, depressive symptoms, and physical health.


Fenaba Addo

Assistant Professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Friday May 18, 2018 3:45pm - 5:15pm