The Huge Racial Gap in Debt for College Graduates

A new report from the Brookings Institution finds that African American students who graduate from college have on average accumulated $23,400 in debt in student loans. This is $7,400 greater than the average debt of White college graduates.

But the startling figure in the Brookings Institution report is that four years after they graduate from college, Black students have an average debt load that is $25,000 more than White students who had graduated from college four years earlier. According to the report, this increase in the racial debt gap is due to “difference in interest accrual and graduate school borrowing.”

Furthermore, the amount of debt owed by African American college graduates has soared in recent years. Four years after earning their bachelor’s degrees in 2008, Black students had an average of $52,726 in debt. Fifteen years earlier, Blacks had an average of $8,723 in debt four years after graduating from college. This is a sixfold increase and adjustments have been made in the dollar figures to account for inflation.

The full report, Black-White Disparity in Student Loan Debt More Than Triples After Graduation, may be downloaded by clicking here.

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