American higher education, high tuition, and high student loans : the debt implications for students during and after college case studies at the University of Hawaii

Au, Helen Oi Lun
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
[Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [December 2012]
Starting Page
Ending Page
Alternative Title
The purpose of this study was intended to examine the inner voices behind the students' choices of American higher education and their persistence in college in relation to financial facts, especially the student financial aid programs and their debt burdens during and after college. Case studies were used to answer the three research questions: 1) What are students' perceptions on the affordability of American higher education in the 21st century (2000-present)? To what extent are students and their families relying on loans to gain access to higher education? 2) What are the debt implications for students and their families during and after college? 3) How do educational attainment and wages affect students' personal and professional satisfaction? Do they perceive education as a worthwhile investment for life? How so and in what way? The findings of this study revealed that American higher education is costly in the 21st century. Cost was a primary factor of students' college going decision. The majority of students had to rely on financial aid, loans in particular, to gain access to and persistence in college.
Ph.D. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2012.
Includes bibliographical references.
loans, financial aid, debts, access, persistence, cost, affordability
Geographic Location
Time Period
Related To
Theses for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (University of Hawaii at Manoa). Education.
Rights Holder
Email if you need this content in ADA-compliant format.