Author ORCID Identifier

Date Available


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Year of Publication


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation




Educational Policy Studies and Eval

First Advisor

Dr. Kelly Bradley


Over the past 30 years, a shift occurred in higher education that saw more of the burden for paying for postsecondary education placed on students. Combined with rising tuition and fees, this has led students to take on increasing amounts of student debt. Despite the historic rise in student loans, surprisingly little attention has focused on those students who default on their student loans. Additionally, the academic literature on student loans has predominately focused on traditional students at four-year institutions, despite the fact that nearly half of all undergraduates attend public two-year institutions. Finally, those studies that include economic factors as predictors of federal student loan default tend to use state-wide measures, such as the state unemployment rate. However, public two-year institutions are closely coupled to their local communities, so local labor market variables may be better predictors than state-wide variables.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)