Black women owe on average 22% more student debt than white women

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In the United States, women owe most of the $ 1.7 trillion in outstanding student loans. As of 2020outstanding student debts for women totaled nearly $ 929 billion.

And according to the new report American Association of University WomenBlack women carry 20% more student debt than whites. The researchers estimate that one year after graduation, white women owe an average of $ 33,851 in undergraduate loans, while black women owe an average of $ 41,466.

Source: American Association of University Women.

High school can exacerbate the difference in how much women of different races owe.

Among those with postgraduate debt, white women owe an average of $ 56,098 and black women around $ 75,085.

Source: American Association of University Women.

“While more black women are enrolling in tertiary education than ever before, it is deeply troubling that black women have far more student debt than their white counterparts,” says Kim Churchs, CEO of AAUW. … “Unfortunately, this is not surprising: it is a clear reflection of the large gap in racial wealth in our country, which leaves black families with less money for higher education.”

Laura Hamilton, professor of sociology at the University of California at Merced and co-author recent student debt cancellation report The Roosevelt Institute says the discrepancy does not surprise her either.

“Black women are much more likely to go to college than black men, and they are subject to significant racial inequalities in wealth, which means they have to shell out more money to go to college,” she says. “So it’s not surprising at all.”

What’s more, the researchers found that in order for women to earn the same as men, they must complete an additional degree. For example, Georgetown Education and Workforce Center It is estimated that a woman with a bachelor’s degree earns an average of $ 61,000 a year, which is roughly the equivalent of a man with an associate’s degree.

“Women with masters earn on average what a man with a bachelor’s degree earns, and a woman with a bachelor’s degree earns on average what a man with an associate’s degree earns,” said Nicole Smith, chief economist at Georgetown CEW. previously told CNBC Make It… “So, in terms of paying off these loans, you have women who take on higher and higher loans, and their lower wages are affecting their ability to repay those loans.”

The Church says the racial disparity in total student debt represents “another example of how deeply ingrained systemic racism continues to disadvantage black families – a reminder of the importance of acting quickly to get things right.”

“Ensuring that black women can easily access and afford education should be a top political priority,” she says. “Our entire society pays a high price for this inequality, and we strongly recommend working to correct it.”

To that end, the AAUW report proposes to simplify repayment options, narrow the pay gap, increase investment in higher education, and writing off student debt

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