Beers, bikinis, and student debt?
With the arrival of March, college students everywhere will soon be anxious to finish midterms so that they can head to their spring break resort. Spring break trips provide a relaxing change of pace for stressed students, but they can also provide a hefty bill.
When one considers the financial limitations of most students, it is easy to ponder this simple question: How are all these cash-strapped college students footing the bill for a one week destination getaway? Maybe they’re banking on student loan refinance rates in the coming years. Despite that optimism, they probably couldn’t tell you what a consolidation loan is.
Here at LendEDU, we understand that the vast majority of students need student loans to attend college. The popularity of expensive spring break trips amongst students that borrow so heavily did not make much sense to us. We not only wanted to discover how students were funding their spring vacation, but also how they fund other aspects of their lifestyle. To answer this, we conducted a survey of 500 current college students that are going on spring break this year. The respondents also had to have outstanding student loan debt.
The results of our study were alarming and frustrating. We conducted our survey via Pollfish and Whatsgoodly. Both companies used the same screening questions and criteria.
Students Use Student Loan Money to Fund Spring Break
In our first question, we asked respondents: “Are you planning to use money received from student loans to help pay for your spring break trip this year? (Including spending on hotels, airline ticket, etc.)”
According to the LendEDU poll, 30.60% of college students with student debt claim that they are using money they received from student loans to help pay for their spring break trip this year. For reference, you can use student loan funding for living expenses.
The National Center for Education Statistics calculated that 20.5 million students will be attending college this year in the United States. Orbitz reported that 55% of students will be going on spring break. Using this data, we can roughly calculate that 11,275,000 students will be going on spring break this year. And, it is estimated that 69% of all current college students use student loan debt by the time of graduation. By doing some additional arithmetic, we can calculate that roughly 7,779,750 student debtors are going on spring break this year.
Factoring in our data, and assuming the claims made in our survey are accurate, this means that 2.38 million students are using money received from student loans to pay for their spring break excursion this year.
Considering the severity of the student loan crisis in the United States right now, this number is severely disappointing. In a previous study, LendEDU found that 49.80% of college students incorrectly believed the government would forgive their federal student loan balance. This means that a number of college students are using government money to pay for spring break and are fully expecting the government to forgive their lavish expenditures. In another study, 51.20% of parents that cosigned on their child’s student loan said their retirement has been put in jeopardy due to late payments made by their child. Many students are hamstringing their parent’s ability to retire because they are using their student loan money to pay for an island adventure.
Where Else is Student Loan Money Going?
Although not as severe, many students are using their student loan money to pay for things other than spring break.
Nearly a quarter (23.80%) of respondents stated that they have used money received from student loans to pay for drinking some type of alcohol. This answer also included spending money at bars.
A third (33.40%) of students answered that they have used money received from student loans to pay for clothing and other accessories.
Similarly, the same amount (33.40%) of students said that they have used money received from student loans to pay for restaurants and take-out.
6.60% of respondents responded saying that they have used money received from student loans to pay for drugs.
Finally, 5.60% of students that participated in our survey stated that they used money received from student loans on gambling or sports betting.
Author: Mike Brown
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