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Legislation, Policy, and the Black Student Debt Crisis

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The student debt crisis has a disproportionate impact on Black borrowers and their families. Across all racial groups, Black borrowers hold the most student loan debt despite also being consistently underserved by postsecondary institutions — especially for-profit and private non-profit colleges — toward persistence and degree-completion. This is also true for Black students pursuing master's and doctoral degrees, whereby 81% borrowed for graduate school. 

Serious interventions are needed toward the end of funding a higher education for the Black public good. This includes, but is not limited to, increased funding for HBCUs and predominantly Black institutions as well as the cancelation of current student debt and providing pathways to significantly reduce if not eliminate potential debt traps for Black students in the future.

Legislation, Policy, and the Black Student Debt Crisis explores higher education, student debt, and recommendations to start to make college affordable, accessible, and beneficial for all.

A grant from the Lumina Foundation, in partnership with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), funded the production of this report. 

[Higher education] is one of the greatest hopes for intellectual and civic progress in this country. Yet for many Americans, however, it has been seen as part of the problem rather than the solution.

- Dr. Ernest L. Boyer, Former President of Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, 1979-1995