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Many College Students Err On Cost Of Education

Researchers at the Brookings Institution, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank, conducted a survey of freshmen at a “selective four-year public university” in the northeast and found that barely over half were able to correctly say what they paid for their first year of college. And about half of students nationwide underestimated how much debt they are taking on for their education.

That lack of financial understanding could have dire consequences in the future, warned the researchers, Elizabeth J. Akers and Matthew M. Chingos.

Like starting a road trip without a good map, students who don’t understand what kind of financial situation they are getting into are “less equipped to make prudent decisions about what to study, how many courses to take and what kinds of jobs to pursue,” they wrote.