Why Women Shoulder the Lion’s Share of Student Loan Debt

The American Association of University Women has issued an updated reported entitled Women’s Student Debt Crisis in the United States. Today there are about 44 million Americans who hold some amount of student loan debt, totaling about $1.4 trillion dollars. Women hold about nearly two-thirds of this debt.

It is true that women make up about 57 percent of all enrollments in higher education, so it is no surprise that the total student loan debt of women is higher than for men. But the data shows that for those students who do enroll in undergraduate programs, 41 percent of women take on debt, compared to 35 percent of men. And for those who take out student loans, women take on about 14 percent more debt than their male counterparts.

Another factor in the large overall gender gap in student debt is that women repay their loans at a slower rate than men, in part because they tend to earn less than men once they enter the workforce. The AAUW report states that between one and four years after their college graduations, men paid off 38 percent of their student loans, whereas women paid off only 31 percent of their debt.

A video about the report can be viewed below.

Filed Under: Research/Study

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