Is debt bad for students? The effects of student debt on course selection, motivation, happiness, and academic performance.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
The previous research on student debt indicates that the financial concerns associated with being in debt have a significant effect on the individual's academic performance. In the present study, a sample of 328 current students at the University of Canterbury was questioned to identify the effects of student debt on students' course selection, motivation, happiness and academic performance. Students' debt levels increased with the level of university study, and the largest form of student borrowing was from the Student Loan Scheme. While students with no debt performed better academically than those with debt, students' attitudes towards debt were found to influence the relationship between debt level and academic performance. Students who were tolerant towards debt performed better as they accumulated more debt while students who were intolerant performed worse. In general, there is little indication that student debt has a direct effect on students' course selection, motivation, happiness and academic performance. Implications of current findings are mentioned. Limitations and directions for future research are discussed.