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By Dr. Marciene Mattleman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – “Gender, Debt and Dropping Out,’’ an article in Gender & Society explores the effect of student loan debt on the probability of graduation for women and men and how dropping out of college affects short and long term earning potential.

Researchers, led by Rachel Dwyer at Ohio State University, analyzed data on 9,000 young adults, born from 1980-1984 who came of age when debt-financed higher education was widespread.

Thirty-four percent of men and forty percent of women took out loans every year averaging $4700. Men were more likely to drop out when debt burdens surpassed $12,700; for women the slide began when their debt burdens reached $14,600.

Male dropouts found jobs in manufacturing, construction and transportation; but later in life, male graduates earned $20,000 more than dropouts. Female dropouts were confined to clerical or service jobs and may have felt pressure to graduate while increasing their debt.

Read more in The Chronicle of Higher Education.

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