Student Loans and Grants

Many college freshmen clueless about debt load

Many college freshmen clueless about debt load

As many high school seniors decide in the next couple of months what college they will attend, most will be flying blind about what their decision will cost them next year or 10 years later.

Despite all the hand wringing about runaway college costs, and the burden of $1.2 trillion of student debt on people trying to build a future, about half of college freshmen don't know what they've borrowed. And 28 percent with federal student loans don't even know they have those loans, according to a study by Brookings Institution researchers Elizabeth Akers and Matthew Chingos.

Their study of college freshmen points to a major reason why Americans are fretting over student loans:...