Blacks Are Disproportionately Burdened By Student Loan Debt

Blacks and student loan debt
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Despite the United States Department of Education’s recent action to extend the pause on Federal student loan payments through May 1, 2022, student debt still looms as a national crisis impacting more than 43 million Americans who owe a combined $1.75 trillion in federal and private student costs.

However, the student debt crisis is not hitting American families equally. Black student loan borrowers owe an average of $25,000 more in student loan debt than white college graduates four years after graduation, according to data from The Brookings Institution. The Brookings Institution further reports that on average, Black and African American college graduates owe $52,726 in student debt, and research from the American Association of University Women found that Black women have the highest student debt among any racial or ethnic group.

Four years after earning their degree, debt statistics show 48% of Black students owe an average of 12.5% more than they borrowed.

Education that improves career pathways and leads to thriving-wage jobs is one obvious solution to this income disparity. But before earning a degree, many Black students begin college with economic disadvantage that limits opportunity for advancement compared to their classmates.

The latest findings of the American Council on Education shows that nearly 60 percent of all Black undergraduates come from low income backgrounds — a greater percentage than any other racial or ethnic group. Read more.

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