College debt stopping men and women from immediately joining religious communities, survey says

Published: Monday, Feb. 3 2014 9:48 a.m. MST

Students walk across campus at the University of Vermont on Monday, April 30, 2012 in Burlington, Vt. U.S. Rep. Peter Welch is compiling stories about student debt. Welch was at the University of Vermont on Monday where he met with students, some of whom are working multiple jobs and studying full time as they accumulate student loan debt. In Vermont, almost 70 percent of college graduates have an average of $30,000 in debt. Those with college debt aren't making any immediate decisions about joining a religious community, according to a recent study by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University.

Toby Talbot, AP

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Those with college debt aren’t making any immediate decisions about joining a religious community, according to a recent study by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University.

The survey said 10 percent of people who joined a religious community in 2013 had about $31,000 in college debt, and that most students on average waited two years before “professing their final vows,” the survey said.

“None of the brothers reported receiving assistance in paying down their educational debt prior to entering their religious institute. Among women religious, several reported assistance from these groups in paying down their debt,” the survey said.

Read the full survey at USCCB.org.

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