New Education Debt Numbers

Not only do black students have lower college graduation rates than other students, they also appear to owe more money when they do graduate. According to an article by Ashley Marchand in the Chronicle of Higher Education:

A report released today by the College Board Advocacy & Policy Center… said that students who borrow the most are disproportionately black, and are more likely to have attended a private nonprofit or for-profit college than a public four-year college.

The College Board also analyzed the relationship between student debt and race, finding that black students were more likely than Asians, whites, and Hispanics to have high debt levels. Only 19 percent of black students graduated with no debt, while the percentage of debt-free graduates from other racial groups ranged from 33 for Hispanic students to 40 percent for Asian students. About 27 percent of all black students graduated with at least $30,500 in student-loan debt, while the portion of students with that level of debt ranged from 9 percent to 16 percent for other races.

Interestingly, the report didn’t indicate that poorer students borrowed more. Middle-class students were more likely to assume large debt to pay for college. The reason for this is unclear, though the authors believe it might have something to do with the “the types of institutions that students from middle-income families choose to attend.”

Almost 40 percent of students attending public colleges and universities graduated with no debt at all. Only 4 percent of students attending for-profit schools graduated debt-free. In fact, some 53 percent of students from for-profit schools were more than $30,500 in debt upon leaving school.

View the College Board’s report here.

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer