Student debt: Do women bear a heavier burden?

Insights Report

Women are more likely than men to go to college and complete their degrees, which can lead to increased earnings for years to come. That’s the good news. The bad news is women are more likely than men to rely in part on student debt to finance their educations. Among all students earning college credentials in 2017-18, 57% of women had federal student debt, compared to 44% of men.

Does women’s higher level of borrowing mean that getting an education is a bad strategy for them? No! The fact that women are disproportionately likely to go to college and to graduate improves their opportunities in the labor market.



Sandy Baum

Urban Institute

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