Paralysis by analysis? Effects of information on student loan take-up

Benjamin M. Marx, Lesley J. Turner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Can relevant information influence student borrowing? In a field experiment with a large community college, we send emails about federal student loans to students who have received financial aid offers but have not made a borrowing decision. A treatment reminding students that they need not borrow the maximum amount of available loan aid has no effect. Treatments referencing amounts borrowed by recent graduates shift students from borrowing the maximum amount to not borrowing. Consistent with the hypothesis that students experience cognitive overload when presented with multiple loan amounts, the response is largest among low-performing students and arises from inaction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number102010
JournalEconomics of Education Review
StatePublished - Aug 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Economics and Econometrics


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