Report: Black Women Have 22% More Student Loan Debt Than White Women
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According to a new report shared by the American Association of University Women, black women are 22% more in debt than their white counterparts.
In their coverage of the AAUW data, CNBC’s Make It widely shared that on average white women owe $ 33,851 while comparatively black women owe $ 41,466 in cumulative debt on undergraduate loans. one year after graduation.
Similarly, “higher education can exacerbate differences in the amount owed by women of different races” – and “among those with higher education debt, white women are expected to average $ 56,098. , while black women owe nearly $ 75,085. “
According to the media report, AAUW CEO Kim Churches said: “Although there are more black women enrolled in higher education than ever, it is deeply concerning that black women have so much more. of student debt than their white counterparts. Unfortunately, this is not surprising. It’s a stark reflection of the wide racial wealth gap in our country that leaves black families with less money to contribute to higher education.
“Ensuring that some black women can easily access and afford this education should be a top political priority,” Churches also stressed. “Our society as a whole is paying a high price for this kind of inequity, and it is imperative that we strive to correct it.
As for long-term solutions that can help reduce the amount of student debt incurred by women as a whole – and, therefore, narrow the educational and societal gaps that cause black women to acquire more than their counterparts – AAUW detailed things that can be done to tackle the problem at government, institutional and individual levels.
The suggestions included things like Congress protecting and further expanding Pell grants for low-income students and passing stricter legislation to specifically address the gender pay gap. At the state level, lawmakers should increase funding for public colleges and universities and provide debt-free options for students – while institutions themselves could try to meet students’ overall academic and financial needs by providing affordable access to students. child care.
Finally, the report notes that “individuals can join organizations like AAUW that strive to close the gender pay gap.”