Unraveling Student Debt Impact

Analyzing the labor market implications of rising student debt in the U.S
Education Development
Labor, Economy, and Growth
Boston College Bright Initiative


Boston College, embarked on a research project to delve into the escalating student debt in the United States, which surged from $260 billion in 2004 to $1.46 trillion in 2019. Spearheaded by Amit Even, Adam Jørring, and Menaka Hampole, the study aimed to understand the ramifications of this debt on individual labor market outcomes. By leveraging web scraping techniques, the team sought to extract and analyze data from True People Search, correlating historical student data with the platform’s information to discern patterns related to student debt.

  • Leveraging web scraping to analyze data from True People Search, revealing patterns related to student debt
  • Playing a pivotal role in overcoming data collection challenges, enabling a comprehensive study.


The primary challenge faced by the researchers was the intricate task of collecting publicly available online data, especially given the vastness and complexity of the data on True People Search. The Bright Initiative, powered by Bright Data, stepped in to offer its state-of-the-art technology, enabling the team to efficiently gather the required data. Through the use of Bright Data’s tools, the researchers could seamlessly navigate and extract data, overcoming the limitations they initially faced.


With the support of The Bright Initiative and Bright Data’s technology, the research team was able to successfully gather and analyze the necessary data, providing invaluable insights into the relationship between student debt and labor market outcomes. This study not only sheds light on the pressing issue of rising student debt but also underscores the potential of using advanced data collection techniques to address complex socio-economic challenges.

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