Harvard Educational Review
  1. Spring 2007 Issue »

    The Effect of Loans on Students’ Degree Attainment: Differences by Student and Institutional Characteristics

    Dongbin Kim,University of Kansas
    In this article, Dongbin Kim investigates the relationship between undergraduate student loan debt and degree attainment. Using data from the Beginning Postsecondary Student (BPS) surveys in 1995–1996 and 2000–2001, she examines whether the relationship between debt and degree attainment is different for students with different parental income levels or racial/ethnic backgrounds, and for students attending different types of higher education institutions. Controlling for a range of individual and institutional characteristics, Kim uses hierarchical generalized linear modeling to find that higher student loan debt in the first year of college is associated with lower probabilities of degree completion among low-income and Black students. Her findings suggest that students’ increased reliance on loans for financial aid may widen the income and racial/ethnic gaps in degree completion, despite the fact that a primary goal of financial aid is to narrow those gaps.

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    Dongbin Kim is an assistant professor in the department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at the University of Kansas. Her research focuses on financial aid policy and equity, racial diversity, college choice, and institutional impact on the various measures of student success. Her recent work examines how the choice of college major affects student persistence. Kim’s research has been published in Research in Higher Education, the Journal of Student Financial Aid, and Higher Education Policy and Management.
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    Spring 2007 Issue

    Abstracts

    Pathways to the Presidency
    Biographical Sketches of Women of Color Firsts
    Caroline Sotello Viernes Turner,Arizona State University
    Financial Aid
    A Broken Bridge to College Access?
    Bridget Terry Long, Harvard Graduate School of Education and Erin Riley, Consultant
    The Effect of Loans on Students’ Degree Attainment: Differences by Student and Institutional Characteristics
    Dongbin Kim,University of Kansas

    Book Notes