More than half of students read less than 25% of their student loan documents, according to a new study. Many skipped reading them altogether.

Those are the results of the 2017 State of Student Loan Debt in America survey, which polled current college students and their parents on their attitudes about managing student loan debt. It found that most of America’s college students are flummoxed by the lengthy student loan process.

College-bound students and their parents are in the throes of financial aid season after the Free Application for Federal Student Aid for the 2018-2019 school year went online this week. Parents and students across the U.S. are now in the process of figuring out how they will finance a higher education. Figuring out the paperwork is part of the challenge — and not having a good handle on it could have financial reverberations for many years beyond graduation.
There’s quite a bit of documentation that students are simply ignoring when they take out federal student loans,” said Susan Farrell, vice president of community markets for Thrivent Student Loan Resources, a non-profit organization that helps Christian high school students and their parents figure out how to finance college. The organization is backed by Thrivent Financial, which sells products such as annuities, life insurance and mutual funds. Thrivent Student Loan Resources teamed with Wakefield Research to conduct the survey.