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What Are Student Loan Borrowers Thinking? Insights From Focus Groups on College Selection and Student Loan Decision Making

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This study used data from online focus groups collected from November 2014 to April 2015 to understand college students' decision-making processes when borrowing money to finance their education. Data were collected using an online course management system. Results suggest that (a) students relied heavily on advice from parents, guidance counselors, and friends; (b) attending college was not possible without student loans; and (c) students knew very little about the loans they would be responsible for repaying. Recommendations for financial educators and counselors to help student borrowers make prudent decisions about education debt are presented.
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Keywords: COLLEGE STUDENTS; DECISION-MAKING; ONLINE FOCUS GROUPS; STUDENT LOANS

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2016-11-01

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  • The Journal of Financial Planning and Counseling is a peer-reviewed research journal and the official journal of the Association for Financial Counseling & Planning Education. The journal’s mission is to disseminate scholarly research related to: the financial decision making of individuals and families; financial education and financial counseling techniques; and the education of professional financial educators, counselors, and planners. Research concerning all audiences, both U.S. and international, is encouraged.
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