But what we know about today’s college students doesn’t support the notion that such a large share of students would be using their loan money for spring break would be using their loan money for spring break, said Mark Huelsman, a senior policy analyst at Demos, a left-leaning think tank. [...]
Even if students were angling to use their student loan dollars for a big trip, it would probably be hard for them to find enough to do so, Huelsman notes. Typical undergraduate students can borrow a maximum of $31,000 over five years from the federal government. The average cost of attending a public school in-state for four years, including room and board, was $80,360 during the 2016-2017 academic year, the College Board found.
Theoretically, students could get access to more loan money by either having their parents borrow or taking on a private loan, but both would require the help of a parent (private student loans almost always require a cosigner). It’s possible that students with debt are still traveling while in college, but Huelsman cautions against making assumptions about how that trip is being financed.
“If a student is going on vacation while they’re in college, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re using their loan dollars to do it, maybe they’re working,” he said.