New Study Reveals Color Of Debt For Black Students


“Student debt today has a color,” said Sara Goldrick-Rab, a professor at University of Wisconsin said after recent research showed Black students rely on student loans to pay for college more than other racial groups. However, they are also more likely to struggle with debt, according to a study released today.

More than 52 percent of black students had student loans in 2012, compared with about 42 percent of whites and about a third of Hispanics and Asians. Black and white students typically borrow the same amount, but the burden of debt weighs more heavily on black families, the study states.

Figures cited in the research average student loan bills for both ethnicities to be around $8,000, but that is already half the average wealth of $16,000 in black families and only 7 percent of the average $124,000 wealth of white families.

“The majority of African-American students in this country in college would not be there without access to student loans,” says Goldrick-Rab. “It’s much harder for African-American’s to get a good return on their degrees.”

An analysis by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that black students that owe 22 percent more in loans are less likely to be repaying that debt 10 years out of college.

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What do you think about the color of student debt? Have you had a similar experience? Tell us in the comments, below!

For more information: Bloomberg Businessweek.

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