A history of student loans, from St Frideswide’s Chest to today

April 12, 2016

With rising student loan numbers constantly in the news, Jenny Adams explores the history of the student loan from the Middle Ages onward. While scholars were originally treated no differently from other borrowers, the first documented student loan system, named St Frideswide’s Chest, was launched in 1240 by the bishop of Lincoln. This loan system required the borrower to deposit an object of value, typically a book, in a literal chest as collateral on their loan. Adams follows the rise, fall, and change of the student loan system over history, and discusses some of the benefits and drawbacks of the historical models compared to today’s loan system. University World News