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Study Finds Debt Differences Between Various Degree-Holders

A recent study found that those who have completed a four-year degree or, in some cases, no degree at all, faced less financial challenges than individuals with a two-year degree.

Katherine SauerKatherine Sauer

The research, Diverging Paths: Youth Debt, College and Family Background, was carried out by the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE) alongside Ohio State University (OSU) to study the various types of debt among 20- to 30-year-olds.

According to the research, those individuals with an associate’s degree are exposed to higher interest rates on student loans, have more vehicle and credit card debt and experience more major life events throughout their educational period.

“Most data and assumptions about college debt focus on bachelor’s degrees, but these are not universally translatable to two-year degree-holders,” said Dr. Katherine Sauer, vice president of research and programs for NEFE. “Understanding the unique challenges of two-year degree-holders forces us in the research and education field to treat them as a distinct group rather than lumping them in with traditional four-year students.”

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