Black Americans and the student loan crisis

May 1, 2020
  • Competencies
  • Diversity and Inclusion
  • Financial Aid and FAFSA
  • SEMQ
  • SEMQ
scale with a graduation cap on one side and a potato sack of money on the opposite side
There has been significant debate about the student loan crisis leading up to this year’s presidential election as student loan debt has reached $1.6 trillion, and approximately 22 percent of borrowers default on their student loans. In a recent SEMQ article, author Tyler Portis points out that “black Americans suffer the most when it comes to loan defaults, for reasons such as lack of familial financial capital, targeted recruitment by for-profit colleges, and lack of support after graduating or withdrawing from school.” His article discusses student loans, their heightened impact on black Americans, and recommendations for institutions and the federal government. 
“As part of the Higher Education Act, the government began offering student loans to provide financial assistance so that students could access postsecondary and higher education,” Portis writes. “Institutions fail to realize, however, that college access through these loans alone will not change students’ lives.”
He suggests that the government and institutions: expand loan counseling; establish better repayment options (such as income-contingent plans), increase support for student borrowers who do not graduate; and limit the predatory impact of for-profits. 
Other articles in the April 2020 issue of SEMQ include:   
Toward an Institutional Databases Audit to Improve College Student Persistence b y Bert Ellison, John M. Braxton, Melissa Lang, and Kelly Grant
Using Artificial Neural Networks to Predict Matriculation of University Prospects  by David M. Hansen

Optimizing Away Summer Melt: How Search Engine Optimization May Reduce Summer Melt at Highly Ranked U.S. Institutions of Higher Education  by Z.W. (Zach) Taylor

The Death of Hunch-Based Decision Making in SEM b y Morgan Blair and Alex Zanidean

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