According to reports on an analysis done by the Urban Institute, a Washington based organization that studies education, low income families, and health regulations, over 40% of African-American families had student loan debt in 2013. This is comparable to 28% of White families who had student loan debt.
[quote_box_center]From The Huffington Post: “Research shows it’s much harder to get a decent-paying job without a college degree, yet saddling oneself with loans can be daunting. Among African-American students, the choice can be particularly acute.”[/quote_box_center]
The analysis also states that on average, African-American families take on $10,295 of student debt compared to white families who take on $8,020. A report by The Federal Reserve Bank of New York says student loan balances have reached $1.16 trillion in the United States alone.
Extra debt once black students graduate could delay wealth increase within their families, which in turn prevents what they can and cannot do in the future, like saving for retirement.
[quote_box_center]“One big reason black families are more likely to borrow for college is because they’re less likely to have access to traditional sources of wealth such as inheritances, or wealth-creating tools such as homeownership.”[/quote_box_center]
The Urban Institute analysis says that it is less likely for African-American students to attend college, and when they do, it is usually a for profit college (Ex: Everest or Strayer University). But profit colleges have been under public scrutiny for some time for their low graduation rates and falsely promising to assist students in getting jobs.
A 2014 study done by the Center for Economic and Policy Research discovered that recent African-American college graduates face double the unemployment rate compared to White Americans. This could be because of discrimination and unintentional bias against black job applicants, reports the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Overall it becomes a “darned if you do, darned if you don’t” situation for African-Americans. Without College, Blacks are less likely to obtain well-paying jobs, and with college they are put in high amounts of debt which spirals off into cutting how much money they will have in the future.