SOC412 – Student Loans (Guest Edition)


Ahh, student loans… who doesn’t have ‘em nowadays? Today, we’re diving into the complex world of education-based debt with the help of our guest, Sam. How does student loan debt influence major life decisions, like starting a family or buying a house? What role does financial literacy play in all of this? And will president-elect Joe Biden really cancel student debt?! (Pretty please, Joe– we could all use a little help right now.) Sam is here to break it down for us using findings from her own qualitative research. Tune in here!


Student loans, academia, higher education, debt, financial literacy


  • Follow Sam here on Twitter!
  • Ellen mentioned the book Diploma Mills by AJ Angulo
  • Wanna learn more about calls to cancel student loan debt? Check out this article from Inside Higher Education
  • Here are some opinions about student loan forgiveness published in the New York Times.
  • Sam recommended the following books and articles:
    • Lower Ed: The Troubling Rise of For-Profit Colleges in the New Economy by Tressie McMillan Cottom
    • Indebted: How Families Make College Work at Any Cost by Caitlin Zaloom
    • Sick of our loans: Student borrowing and the mental health of young adults in the United States” by Katrina M. Walsemann, Gilbert C. Gee and Danielle Gentile. Social Science & Medicine (2015). 
    • Student debt spans generations: Characteristics of parents who borrow to pay for their children’s college education.” by Katrina M. Walsemann and Jennifer A. Ailshire. The Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Social Sciences. (2017). 
    • Neither a Borrower Nor a Lender Be: The Relative Importance of Debt and SES for Mental Health Among Older Adults” by Patricia Drentea and John R. Reynolds. Journal of Aging and Health (2012). 
    • Where Does Debt Fit in the Stress Process Model?” by Patricia Drentea and John R. Reynolds. Society and Mental Health. (2014). 
    • Sam also mentioned scholar Rachel Dwyer who has some great things to say about student loans. Here is one such article!
    • Predatory Inclusion and Education Debt: Rethinking the Racial Wealth Gap.” by Louise Seamster and Raphaël Charron-Chénier. Social Currents. (2017). 
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