Study: Debt Not Responsible for 'Boomeranging'

January 9, 2017

Student loan debt is not responsible for the rise in young people “boomeranging,” or returning home to live with their parents, according to a new study by researchers at Dartmouth College and Montana State University.

The primary factor associated with boomeranging is college completion rates, the study in Sociology of Education found. Students who did not graduate from either a two- or four-year program were about 40 percent more likely to move back in with their parents than are students who earned postsecondary degrees. Additionally, students who experience a smooth transition into traditional adulthood experiences, such as marriage and full-time employment, are far less likely to boomerang.

However, the study did find a connection between debt, race and moving home. Black students who took on debt are at a greater risk of boomeranging than are white students -- a result the authors attribute to economic inequality and societal influences that affect minorities. These can include discrimination in college and in the labor market, limited access to fair credit, and loans with high interest rates.

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