Family Finances

5 Big Ideas to Narrow the Racial Wealth Gap

June 24, 2020  • Financial Security Program

FSP research on student loan debt is featured in this article on narrowing the racial wealth gap. This article was written by Jeff Kauflin and Janet Novac and originally published on Forbes on 6/25/20. Click here to access the full article.

“The wealth gap between Black and white college graduates has been widening, in part because Black students take on more debt to get through school. Wesley Whistle, a federal higher education analyst at New America Foundation, calculates that 84% of Black Millennials who graduated from four-year colleges in 2016 had student debt, compared with 68% of white Millennials. Among those earning two-year degrees, 63% of Black graduates—but only 43% of their white counterparts—had student debt.

In addition to helping a higher percentage of Black graduates, a $10,000 write-off would dramatically reduce the student default rate, research from the Aspen Institute shows. That’s because 66% of defaulters owe $10,000 or less, since many of them dropped out of school without a degree or attended for-profit schools—both more common among Black students. (The doctors, lawyers and M.B.A.s with scary-sounding graduate debt of $100,000 or $200,000 may feel stretched, but usually do fine)…”