Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Senior Honors Thesis

Department or School

Technology Studies


As costs of post-secondary education have risen and funding has decreased, institutions of higher education have come to rely on educational loans to maintain their enrollment levels and programs. 1 Indeed, these institutions have become dependent upon federally financed educational loan programs for their economic well being.2 Although the guaranteed loans are made by private lenders, the federal government assumes liability if a student borrower dies, defaults, or seeks bankruptcy relief. 3 Because the federal government guarantees repayment of these loans, their dischargeability in bankruptcy proceedings affects all taxpayers. This paper offers an historical overview of the social milieu giving rise to the general nondischargeability of educational loans in bankruptcy proceedings, sets forth a brief legislative history of the section containing the general nondischargeability provision, and provides an analysis of Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals precedent interpreting the general nondischargeability provision.4