Entrepreneurship and Student Loan Debt

article about student loan debt and entrepreneurship

Student loan debt in the United States is high. Really high. As Forbes showed, collective student loan debt totaling more than $1.5 trillion is second only to the highest category of consumer loan debt – mortgages.

For a recent graduate that wants nothing more than to get a great job and finally move out of their family’s home, steep student loan debt can suddenly halt those plans. But what about those that aren’t looking for a job, and instead hope to start a business?

In its recent blog post, the Center for American Entrepreneurship cites a 2018 study that links student loan debt with declining levels of entrepreneurship. The Cost of Financing Education: Can Student Debt Hinder Entrepreneurship? was written by Karthik Krishnan of Northeastern University and Pinshuo Wang of University of South Florida.

Ethan Mollick, professor at the Wharton School of Business, summarized the study by tweeting that graduates with $10,000 or more in student loan debt versus being debt-free, “lowers the chance of launching a startup by 7%, drops the amount of money the startup makes by 42%, hits tech and fast-growing startups the most and makes the impact of business failure worse.”

So, what are future entrepreneurs to do in this climate of rising tuition costs and student debt? Students and their families should look for colleges that are able to provide impactful financial aid packages and those who work hard to keep tuition low.

As cited in Donnelly College’s  2017-2018 President’s Report, full-time annual tuition at Donnelly averages $7,200 before scholarships and grants (78% of Donnelly students receive scholarships or grant aid). This tuition rate is a fraction of the cost that student might pay at a Catholic college in the United States with the average annual tuition reaching more than $28,000, and the highest tuition rates at a staggering $51,000 per year.

Tuition cost is only one factor in choosing a college, but an important one. Colleges like Donnelly, that keep tuition low, have a legacy of transforming lives. Future business owners have many choices when it comes to their education and financial future. Donnelly is here to support your dreams, which likely don’t include massive student loan debt. Visit Donnelly College Admissions for more information.