The Logic of Loans: Students' perceptions of the costs and benefits of the student loan

Hazel Christie, Moira Munro

    Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature review

    42 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Government policy towards financial support for students means that students increasingly have to bear the costs of their education, often through acquiring significant student debt. This policy is largely justified with reference to the private benefits (through enhanced life-time earnings) that university graduates can expect to enjoy. Using evidence from a qualitative study of 49 students, this paper analyses the extent to which students are engaged in a process of rational weighing-up of the costs and benefits of higher education as implied by the policy stance. It also explores their interpretation of their financial position and Government policy towards them. It argues that students are very poorly informed about both the costs and benefits of higher education, and that financial outcomes are not created in an essentially private and individual fashion, but instead are strongly mediated by cultural and familial resources.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)621-636
    Number of pages16
    JournalBritish Journal of Sociology of Education
    Volume24
    Issue number5
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2003

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