Black Women Graduate With The Most U.S. Student Loan Debt

Contributed by BreAnna Bell

A new study shows that women, specifically black women, take on the biggest load of educational debt and for the longest periods of time.

The American Association of University Women (AAUW) released a report last month titled, ““Deeper in Debt: Women and Student Loans.” The data, collected from 2015 to 2016, showed women comprise nearly two-thirds of the staggering $1.4 trillion of total debt, with female students having $890 million of that share compared to $490 million held against male students.

Newsweek reports black women take on the most outstanding student loan debt after graduation compared with both white women and white men. According to the report, black women on average garnered $30,400 in loan debt by college graduation. A number which is much higher than the $22,000 seen by their white female counterparts and the $19,500 amassed by white male students.

Dr. Robert Kelchen, an assistant professor in the Department of Education Leadership, Management, and Policy at Seton Hall University, claims in an interview the bigger issue here is how black families are being affected by economic inequality.

“The big issue is the large wealth gap between minority and white families,” Dr. Kelchen said. “It’s a lot harder to repay loans when nobody in your family can help you pay them off. Unemployment rates also tend to be higher for black and Hispanics, which makes repaying loans more difficult.”

The AAUW recommends some key tips to reducing the student loan gender gap including safeguarding and expanding Pell Grants for low-income students and increasing aid for low-income students.


WHUR Contributor

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