College & Workforce Readiness News in Brief

Mid-Income Students Incur Higher Debt

By Caralee J. Adams — August 28, 2012 1 min read

Students from middle-class families are getting mired in more college debt than their peers from low- and high-income families, according to a paper presented last week at the American Sociological Association in Denver.

Often, middle-income families make too much to qualify for aid, but fall short of enough cash to cover the increasing cost of college.

Students from families earning $40,000-$59,000 annually are graduating with $6,000 more debt than students whose families make less than $40,000, according to a paper.

Those whose families make between $60,000 and $99,000 racked up nearly $4,000 more in student loans than their low-income peers. Middle-income students borrowed $12,000 more than those from families making $100,000-$149,000 and $17,000 more than the most-affluent students from households earning $150,000 or more.

Jason Houle of the University of Wisconsin-Madison analyzed data from 4,414 students from the National Longitudinal Study of Youth from 1997-2009.

A version of this article appeared in the August 29, 2012 edition of Education Week as Mid-Income Students Incur Higher Debt

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