A majority of college "Greek" students have used student loan money to pay membership dues to their fraternities and sororities, and some have even spent it on drugs and alcohol, according to a new poll.

LendEDU told Secrets:

  • 54.8 percent of current, 4-year college students that are in a fraternity/sorority and have student loan debt admitted that they have used student loan money to pay for fraternity/sorority dues or membership fees.
  • Females (57.2 percent) were more likely to use financial aid to afford "Greek" life than males (52.4 percent), but males were less regretful about that decision (51.15 percent) when compared to females (58.04 percent).
  • 5.6 percent used financial aid to pay for drugs.
  • 12 percent used the money to pay for alcohol. Males were more likely than females to use student loan money for these purposes.

Student loans can be crushing to new graduates. Millions owe an average of $28,000.

According to the LendEDU poll some of the loan money is given to students to spend on needed items, and apparently needs differ. They said:

You may be asking yourself this: "How is it possible to use student loan money for anything other than student loans?"

If you are a student with access to financial aid, the money is administered by your respective school's financial aid office. The financial aid office takes out the amount necessary for tuition fees, while the remaining funds are deposited directly into the student loan borrower's bank account. The student is urged to use the leftover money for miscellaneous educational expenses (books, housing, etc.), but the financial aid office has no way of keeping track of the money. So, the money is left to be spent according to the borrower's discretion.

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at pbedard@washingtonexaminer.com