The effect of loans on the persistence and attainment of community college students

Alicia C. Dowd, Tarek Coury

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

86 Scopus citations


This study informs public policies regarding the use of subsidized loans as financial aid for community college students. Using logistic regression, it analyzes the National Center for Education Statistics' Beginning Postsecondary Students (BPS 90/94) data to predict persistence to the second year of college and associate's degree attainment over five years. During the period under study, loans did not contribute to higher persistence and attainment rates. Loans are observed to have a negative effect on persistence and no effect on degree attainment. Estimates of the interaction effects of borrowing and income status are insignificant but demonstrate the need for further testing. The findings are attributed to a combination of the high uncertainty of degree completion among community college students and the negative affective component of indebtedness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-62
Number of pages30
JournalResearch in Higher Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education


Dive into the research topics of 'The effect of loans on the persistence and attainment of community college students'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this