With March in full swing, millions of college students across the country are gearing up to head south for a week of alcohol-infused beach parties. And a new study has found that many of those students won't actually be paying for their relaxing getaway — at least not anytime soon.
LendEdu, a student loan news website, asked 500 college students who are going on spring break whether they plan on using money from their student loans to help pay for their travel, whether it be for lodging, airfare or otherwise. Amazingly, but perhaps not surprisingly, nearly one-third (30.6 percent) of those polled said they did plan to apply at least some of their student loan funds toward their spring break vacation.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, there are about 20.5 million students attending college in the U.S. this year. Roughly 55 percent of those — or about 11.3 million — will travel over spring break, according to the travel booking website Orbitz. And according to LendEdu, about 69 percent of all U.S. college students use their student loan money for something other than education-related expenses by the time they graduate.
"Factoring in our data, and assuming the claims made in our survey are accurate, this means that 2.38 million students are using money received from student loans to pay for their spring break excursion this year," LendEdu said. "Considering the severity of the student loan crisis in the United States right now, this number is severely disappointing."
It's estimated that about 40 million Americans owe a combined $1.2 trillion on student loan debt, the second-largest category of consumer debt behind home mortgages, which Bloomberg reported totaled $8.37 trillion at the end of 2015. According to MarketWatch, the majority of student loan debt is held by the federal government.
Another recent study by LendEdu found that nearly half of U.S. college students believe their student loan debt will eventually be forgiven.
It's not just spring break vacations that college students are using their student loan money for, though.
Of the 500 students who participated in LendEdu's survey, 23.8 percent said they have used the funds for alcohol and 6.6 percent said they have used their students loans to buy drugs. Another 5.6 percent of respondents said they have gambled funds from their student loans.
And more than 33 percent said they have paid for clothing and accessories with money intended for their education. The same percentage said they have bought food from restaurants using the funds.
(H/T: Daily Caller)