•  
  •  
 

Short Title

Community College Students and Borrowing Student Loans

Abstract

Research suggests that student loan borrowing has increased at the community college level. This trend is worrisome to many, as research is inconclusive regarding whether loans are positively correlated with achieving a college degree. Many also contend that choosing not to borrow a student loan due to loan aversion can negatively impact a student’s chance of reaping the financial benefits of a college degree. This study surveyed three community colleges in the Midwest to better understand how acculturation, time perspective, and financial literacy impact community college students’ willingness to borrow student loans. Except for financial literacy, none of the variables differed significantly across people of African American, Latino, Caucasian, and Asian ancestry. Furthermore, none of the variables correlated significantly with willingness to borrow student loans. Out of the more malleable traits, such as financial literacy, acculturation, and time perspective, only the “present-fatalistic” time domain and financial literacy scores were significantly correlated. These results suggest that community college students are similar to each other in regard to their acculturation, orientation to time, and financial literacy. Furthermore, differences in community college students’ decisions to borrow student loans are more likely due to unique characteristics rather than due to time perspective, acculturation, or financial literacy.