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Black Americans and the student loan crisis

May 1, 2020, 15:19 PM
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Summary : Recommendations for institutions and the federal government.
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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

SEM Quarterly provides knowledge and insight into the ongoing evolution of strategic enrollment management (SEM) by bridging the gap between theory and practice. Articles by thought leaders and practitioners address the emerging dynamics of SEM, including: executive-level leadership, leading strategies, internationalization, research, academic orientation, and current trends.

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  • Competencies
  • Diversity and Inclusion
  • Financial Aid and FAFSA
  • SEMQ
  • SEMQ
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  • Meet the Members

    Steven E. Smith, University Registrar, Adelphi University

    Steven Smith CCAACRAO's LGBTQIA Caucus holds a very special place in my heart. I spent my early years in the closet and at my first Annual Meeting, I walked past the Caucus meeting three times but couldn't gather the courage to walk in. I timidly took that step at my second conference and my life changed forever; attending that Caucus meeting was the first public thing I ever did as a gay person. The people I met that day are now some of the best friends I have, in fact, years later one of them flew half-way across the country to attend my wedding!  

    Joining the Caucus gave me the courage to come out at home and work. It has connected me with some fabulous colleagues whom I contact regularly by phone, email, and social media. It has informed me about many issues that I thought I knew well, but realized I had more to learn. The three-year stint that I served as chair is one of my fondest memories. The LGBTQIA Caucus has been an important part of my life and I encourage those who identify with any of those letters (including the "A" allies!) to be a part of this important group. 


    Carrie Cuy, Assistant Registrar, Harvard University Division of Continuing Education

    Carrie Cuy CCDiscovering the LGBTQIA caucus was a highlight for me during AACRAO’s 2019 Annual Meeting in Los Angeles.


    As a new member, I found the caucus to be a welcoming and friendly group of higher education colleagues. I look forward to participating in future AACRAO and caucus events and fostering a supportive environment for knowledge sharing and professional development in our field.

    Michael N. Robertson, Director of Admissions & Enrollment Services, Southern College of Optometry

    Mike Robertson CC
    When a small group of us helped found the LGBTQ Caucus many years ago, one of our main goals was to simply give “folks like us” a place where we could be ourselves  and share common goals, issues and concerns.  Now, we’ve evolved into a strong group whose added goal of educating our constituency about LGBTQ issues on campuses has made differences at colleges around the world.  The caucus has made me proud of AACRAO and has helped make me a better administrator.  For that, I will always be grateful.

    Stephen Arod Shirreffs, Ph.D., Associate Registrar, Stanford University

    Stephen Arod Shirreffs CC
    I'm in the LGBTQIA caucus because I think visibility is a core value as an engaged gay man and as an engaged AACRAO member. I've been involved in the gay movement since the early 70s, the heady days of gay liberation. Now, as our profession as well as our campuses are more diverse than ever, being "out there" says it loud and proud that we all belong and everyone is welcome. As AACRAO advocates for the issues that are critical to our jobs, having the public backing of our caucus is important work, and I want to be part of it.

    Allen Corben, Assistant Registrar/Graduation Services, Fuller Theological Seminary 

    Allen Corben CCI'm in the LGBTQIA caucus because because none of us are free unless all of us are free.




Mission Statement

AACRAO's LGBTQIA Caucus strives to work for LGBTQIA rights, and educate other higher education professionals so they are able to serve their students with an understanding of sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.

The Caucus welcomes any AACRAO member willing to advance LGBTQIA rights, regardless of sexual identity or orientation. 


LGBTQIA Caucus Chairs

Paul McCarty CC

Paul C. McCarty, Registrar | Washington College

Holly Halmo CC

Holly Halmo, Director of Student Success Initiatives | New York University
Please fill out the form below to join the LGTBQIA Caucus. After submission, a Caucus member will contact you with next steps. 

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