Graduation Year


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Patrick Van Horn

Reader 2

Nayana Bose

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2019 Bergen M Carloss


We have seen a substantial increase in student in student debt in the United States within the last decade, and this has the potential to have adverse impacts on both individual outcomes and the economy as a whole. However, at the same time, the cost of college has continued to rise as universities offer more services that extend outside of the realm of a traditional academic experience. These services include but are not limited to investments in new buildings, food, dorms, wellness programs, and student activities. Using data from U.S. News and World Report, The College Scorecard as produced by the U.S. Department of Education, and financial statements produced yearly by U.S. institutions, I examine the top 100 colleges in the United States and analyze the impact of expenses for student services on median student debt within these institutions. I find that these expenses do not have a statistically significant effect on student debt.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.