Loading in 2 Seconds...
Loading in 2 Seconds...
Student Loan Debt Among Law Students: Perceptions, Influences, and Effects. Heather DiAngelis Sociology of Education July 30, 2012. Topic Statement.
Sociology of Education
July 30, 2012
I am studying student loan debt among law students and graduates to find out how they perceive this debt and how they are influenced and affected by it, in order to help my reader understand financial issues that are prevalent among law students and graduates and how law schools can help alleviate misconceptions and harsh consequences of law student debt.
What are law students’ perceptions of their own student loan debt and the normalcy of student loan debt?
What factors influence law students’ amounts of student loan debt, and how do these students perceive these influences?
What are the effects and consequences of student loan debt? Does this conflict with students’ perceptions of the effects and consequences?
Survey of second- and third-year law students and recent alumni
Open-ended interviews with select second- and third-year law students and recent alumni
Open-ended interviews with staff members of the William and Mary Law School’s Office of Career Services
Survey results and annual reports from the Law School Survey of Student Engagement
Financial aid data from the National Center for Education Statistics
Survey results and statistics from the National Association for Law Placement and the American Bar Association
New faculty members often owe more in loan debt than they make in a year, which is demoralizing on a personal level, discourages faculty members from encouraging undergraduates to major in their field, and makes graduate studies look less appealing to minorities and members of the working class (Guerra, 2008).
Low-income students might find themselves with a decreased societal influence after graduation because student loans distribute cultural capital unevenly across social classes (Trent, Lee, & Owens-Nicholson, 2006).
The predicted probability of degree attainment increases with loan amount for high-income and white students, but decreases with loan amount for low- and middle-income students and for Asian, Latino, and black students (Kim, 2007).
Ten years after implementing its no-loan policy, Princeton University has seen an increase in low-income and minority students and all students have a much greater percentage of tuition covered by grants and scholarships (Tilghman, 2007).
A study conducted at a Midwestern state university found that the greater the confidence among undergraduate business students in managing debt load and securing employment after graduation, the higher the salary expectations (Kuzma, Thiewes, & Kuzma, 2010).
Several law schools are currently under investigation for providing misleading (and possibly fraudulent) data concerning employment prospects after graduation (Mangan, 2011).
Examine more literature concerning student loan debt in general.
Take a better look at non-scholarly literature (i.e., newspaper articles, blogs, and websites) to get a better understanding of law students’ debt.
Devise a strategy for surveying and interviewing students and recent alumni.
Guerra, L. (Feb. 2008). Graduating a debtor nation: Shameless confessions of a dissenting citizen. History Teacher, 41(2), 207–211.
Kim, D. (Spring 2007). The effect of loans on students’ degree attainment: Differences by student and institutional characteristics. Harvard Educational Review, 77(1), 64–100.
Kuzma, A. T., Thiewes, H. F., & Kuzma, J. R. (April 2010). An examination of business students’ student loan debt and total debt. American Journal of Business Education, 3(4), 71–77.
Mangan, K. (Oct. 2011). Law schools on the defensive over job-placement data. Chronicle of Higher Education, 58(9), A16.
Tilghman, S. (Winter 2007). Expanding equal opportunity: The Princeton experience with financial aid. Harvard Educational Review, 77(4), 435–441.
Trent, W. T., Lee, H. S., & Owens-Nicholson, D. (Aug. 2006). Perceptions of financial aid among students of color: Examining the role(s) of self-concept, locus of control, and expectations. American Behavioral Scientist, 49(12), 1739–1759.