How the Pandemic-Related Recession Could Effect Student Debt

Research and resources examining the impacts on borrowing patterns and repayment challenges

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on the higher education system and on student borrowers. In these uncertain times, student loan trends, influenced by enrollment patterns, the labor market, the cost of school, and other factors, continue to shift.

Researchers from The Pew Charitable Trusts analyzed the student loan environment from multiple angles, drawing upon data and literature from past recessions and natural disasters to contextualize the situation facing student borrowers and to anticipate future changes and challenges in student borrowing. The materials collected here explore key factors that shape the COVID-era student loan landscape, including borrowing levels, delinquency and default rates, trends in higher education enrollment and financing, and families’ financial stability during economic downturns.


Spotlight on Mental Health

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Learn the Basics of Broadband from Our Limited Series

Sign up for our four-week email course on Broadband Basics

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How does broadband internet reach our homes, phones, and tablets? What kind of infrastructure connects us all together? What are the major barriers to broadband access for American communities?

What Is Antibiotic Resistance—and How Can We Fight It?

Sign up for our four-week email series The Race Against Resistance.

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Antibiotic-resistant bacteria, also known as “superbugs,” are a major threat to modern medicine. But how does resistance work, and what can we do to slow the spread? Read personal stories, expert accounts, and more for the answers to those questions in our four-week email series: Slowing Superbugs.

Explore Pew’s new and improved
Fiscal 50 interactive

Your state's stats are more accessible than ever with our new and improved Fiscal 50 interactive:

  • Maps, trends, and customizable charts
  • 50-state rankings
  • Analysis of what it all means
  • Shareable graphics and downloadable data
  • Proven fiscal policy strategies


Welcome to the new Fiscal 50

Key changes include:

  • State pages that help you keep track of trends in your home state and provide national and regional context.
  • Interactive indicator pages with highly customizable and shareable data visualizations.
  • A Budget Threads feature that offers Pew’s read on the latest state fiscal news.

Learn more about the new and improved Fiscal 50.