Correlation between Student Loan Debt and Mental Health

Updated December 28, 2021

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Correlation between Student Loan Debt and Mental Health essay

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Is Higher Education a right or a privilege? With the rising cost of tuition, should college students pursue an advanced degree? Is the cost of a postsecondary degree, worth the financial debt that one inherits after graduation? According to Yavor Ivanchec (2014), the student loan debt has reached the 1 trillion dollar mark. Based on these figures, it seems that Higher Education is considered a privilege rather than a right.

Higher Education seems unattainable without going into debt. Assuming that free college and university tuition will attract more students from a disadvantage background, resulting in upward mobility will this certify a person’s success? While the student debt crisis is alarming, offering free tuition does not guarantee that a person will be successful. The conversation regarding student loan debt typically centers around for-profit institutions, and the rising cost of college and university tuitions, rather than focusing on financial literacy.

Additionally, questioning whether higher education is a right or a privilege should be left out of the discussion. A persons background, circumstance, and socioeconomic status does not determine, whether an individual is successful. These factors are not indicators if a person defaults on their student loan, nor does it determine if they view student loan debt negatively.

Educational Debt: A Positive Investment?

Investment into one’s educational pursuits, should not be viewed negatively. It is an investment into the future, and the potential to complete an advanced degree that could lessen future hardships and provide upward mobility. Furthermore, Dreanta (2000) stated that taking on debt eases stress, allows a person to focus on their studies versus working and completing school simultaneously (as cited in Dweyer, McCloud, & Hodson (2012). Research has shown mixed results concerning student loan debt, complicated by the difficulty in obtaining accurate assessments of measuring loans.

Assuming that most borrowers eventually default on their loans, increasing knowledge involving financial literacy is a must. The first step should be a mandatory workshop on financial planning. Granting potential student loan borrowers access to financial planners and advisors allows them to make an informed decision about the consequence of obtaining a student loan. Additionally, when deciding on an occupation or major, potential earnings should be considered as well.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics provides information on various occupations. The website supplies data trends on payroll earnings and anticipated earnings, based on educational level and geography. Knowing these facts, an individual can accurately determine and assess, if they want to pursue a specific career field. As Ulbrich & Kirk (2017) stated, taking on a loan comes with responsibilities. This responsibility should not be deferred because one is not expected to pay back the interest and fees, until graduation. Understanding what type of interest one will occurr during the educational pursuits, and what type of monthly payments is to be expected should be factors when making an informed decision. For instance, an individual who desires to pursue a MSW, but li Unsure if I should include an example.

Educational Debt: Effects on Personal Wellness

Another topic that centers around student loan debt is the effects debt has on young adults, concerning their emotional health and personal wellness. According to research conducted by Walsemann, Gee & Gentile (2015), their data indicates psychological concerns regarding emotional and personal health and economic stressors. Furthermore, it has been determined that student loan debt may influence an individual to forego family planning and marriage (Bozick & Estacion, 2014). It was revealed that this typically applies towards women and not men (2014).

It needs to be notated that research on the correlation between emotional, mental and personal health is limited. Additionally, the research conducted by Bozick & Estacion (2014) indicated that student loan debt influences’ women more so than men. If this true, further investigation is necessary, as student loan debt applies to both gender. Quality of life, repayment plan and concerns about earning potentials relevant factors for every young adult transitioning from their educational pursuits into the labor force. Furthermore, blanket statements regarding student debt affecting the mental health of young adults cannot be accurately validated due to the limited amount of research.


Providing free tuition is not a determination of success nor is it a factor in eliminating stressors relating to mental health. Research connected to consumer debt, income and socioeconomic status have been conducted (Walsemann, Gee & Gentile, 2015). Applying these findings on this subject would be inaccurate because according to Sallie Mae (2012) student loan debt cannot be absolved during bankruptcy filing (as cited in Walsemann, et al., 2015). More research needs to be conducted to find a correlation between student loan debt and mental health.

Acknowledgement of differing perception, whether student loan has a negative or positive impact on a person is dependent on personality traits. Although research findings concerning consumer debt, income and economic status may be similar in nature. Ultimately, it would be prematurely to attach these same findings regarding with the impact of student loan debts on a person’s mental health. Based on the existing research, further studies needs to be conducted, but also more emphasis should be placed on financial literacy. Offering free college tuition does not guarantee a person’s success, nor does it warrant the successful completion of a college degree.

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Correlation between Student Loan Debt and Mental Health. (2021, Dec 28). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/correlation-between-student-loan-debt-and-mental-health/

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