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High student debt correlated to health risks, lower GPAs

Twin Cities television station KARE-11 reported on the recent rise in student debt, and its detrimental effects on students both before and after graduation:

David Golden, Director of Public Health and Marketing at the University of Minnesota's Boynton Health Service Center, says at least three different student surveys have been conducted on the topic of student debt in the past three years. This past spring, a Boynton Health Services survey focused on credit card debt.

"We looked at students who are carrying high debt on their credit cards. They tend to have other problems, they are much more likely to be diagnosed with depression, tend to have higher rates of high risk drinking, higher smoking rates. Also we noticed an association between when their debt goes up, their GPA tends to go down," says Golden.

Golden says there are no hard and fast solutions to offer students, but some measures have been taken by the university. For starters, credit card companies are no longer allowed to set up tables in the student union hall to attract new cardholders. He also says a special financial advisor has been hired by Health Services to talk and counsel students on credit card debt.