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.

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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.

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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.

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Read more in The Chronicle of Higher Education.