Students of Color Face College Debt Disparity

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College Debt and Its Impact On Students

College debt is something that every college student tries their hardest to avoid. Once you enter the hole of college debt, it becomes increasingly difficult to dig yourself out of that hole. It just gets deeper and deeper. College debt is the consequence of not paying student loans typically after you graduate. This could be a result of many things, either you do not have the funds at that moment, or you completely forget to pay your loan off. Either way, it still affects you at a large magnitude.

College debt impacts students not only in the physical sense but also mentally. They always have to worry about this debt that stalks them, until they fully pay it off. Sometimes it can feel practically impossible to pay off the debt, no matter how many jobs you have. This makes students feel even worse, and they can sometimes end up with long-lasting conditions, such as depression.

Students Of Color Being Negatively Affected By College Debt

Courtesy of Marco Verch Professional Photographer (Flickr CC0)

The Black and Latino community are the most affected by College Debt. Many in these communities do not receive a high income, and therefore it is much harder to pay back the loan itself.

“Disagreement on the extent of the student debt problem tends to center on the positive correlation between educational attainment and income,” says Brookings Institute. But even if they were to receive more income, it would still be hard to pay the loan, as many students of color have to pay back a large quantity.

“Black and African-American student borrowers are the most likely to struggle financially due to student loan debt, with 29% making monthly payments of $350 or more,” according to Education Data Initiative. If we do the math, that is $4,200 a year in student loans!

What Causes These Quantities To Be So Large?

Many can agree that this happens due to the racial wealth gap. “A lot of research has been done over the years on the racial wealth gap as it relates to assets; things like the ability to buy a home or save for retirement, but not as much has been focused on the debt side of the racial wealth gap,” mentions Jennifer Cotto of WTTW News. This means that not much has been done to lessen the debt that many students of color face.

In turn, students give up when trying to pay back the loan, since the amount is so high. They feel it will be impossible to pay back, given the amount of income they make. Therefore many students feel that their lives are ruined since this problem persists for the rest of their lifetimes.

What Can Be Done To Solve This Problem?

Not only should the government give more forgiveness programs for those that are unable to pay back their debt at a certain time, there should also be more helpful when it comes to choosing a college for a particular student. “Our goal should be to help all students make informed choices about their post-secondary options and support them in choosing a college that is best suited to them academically, financially and culturally,” says Cotto. The last word, culturally, stands out, because no matter what culture you are from you should be entitled to a debt-free education. An education that will help you in your future endeavors.

Written by David Loran Jr.


Brookings: Student loans, the racial wealth divide, and why we need full student debt cancellation

Education Data Initiative: Student Loan Debt by Race

WTTW News: Students of Color Face Major Hurdles Around College Debt

Featured and Top Image by Jared Rodriguez Courtesy of’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

Inset Image Courtesy of Marco Verch Professional Photographer’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

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