Magazine article USA TODAY

Student Loans Help Women More Than Men

Magazine article USA TODAY

Student Loans Help Women More Than Men

Article excerpt

Student loans provide more help to women than they do for men in encouraging graduation from college, reveals a study published in Gender & Society. Findings show that, on average, taking out loans actually makes graduation more likely for all students but, at a certain point--which is about $2,000 lower for men than for women--debt has diminishing returns and becomes less effective at boosting chances of graduation.

One reason loans help women more may be tied to job prospects for college dropouts, which are much better for males than for females. "At least early in their careers, women suffer more than men if they don't have a college degree," says sociologist Rachel Dwyer, coauthor of the study. Women will go deeper in debt to finance college because they need the degree more than men if they want to earn a good living. Men will drop out at lower levels of debt?

Data for the study came from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997. The NLSY97 interviewed people between the ages of 13 and 17 in 1997 and then talked to the same individuals each year up to 2010-11. …

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