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May 1, 2018 at 12:00am ET By Alyssa Walker

Cryptocurrency has infiltrated the higher education market. 

A recent survey conducted by the Student Loan Report reveals that 21.2 percent of current students with student loan debt have used financial aid money to fund cryptocurrency investments. 

Student Loan Report asked, 1,000 college students in March of 2018 if they had ever used any of this funding to invest in cryptocurrencies. One in five said "yes,"

How? When students receive financial aid money, some of it automatically goes toward tuition, but some of it, like that earmarked for "living expenses," goes to the student. There's no way to track how students spend that money, either.

Despite 2017's boom for Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Ripple, 2018 has not seen such vibrant growth. Students who invested probably thought they'd be able to pay off their loans quicker, but cryptocurrency's volatility may not give them that opportunity. 

Student Loan Report's founder, Drew Cloud, reported his shock at the finding, expressing concern that students have to pay off their loans--and risky investments won't help them. 

Some experts argue that they would have been better off investing their "living expenses" financial money in high-yield savings accounts, or index funds.

Why are so many college students willing to take such big risks? The feeling that lots of college students have when they have little else to worry about: invincibility.




Alyssa Walker is a freelance writer, educator, and nonprofit consultant. She lives in the White Mountains of New Hampshire with her family.

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