Home News Would Canceling Student Debt Promote Racial Equity? – Inside Higher Ed

Would Canceling Student Debt Promote Racial Equity? – Inside Higher Ed


Many people view canceling student debt as a racial justice issue that would help many Black people struggling to repay their loans — but most of the people who’d be helped are white and those with high incomes.

Ashley Harrington is among the many people who see canceling student debt as an issue of racial justice.

For many Black Americans, centuries of discrimination have led to white people having much more wealth than Black people, she and others say.

So when it comes time for students to go to college, Black families are much less likely than white families to have the money to help pay for their children’s education.

As a result, Black students are more likely to have to borrow for college. And they have to borrow more.

If they graduate, they will start life having to pay back loans, while white students who didn’t have to borrow or borrowed less are spending money, perpetuating the wealth, Harrington and others said at a panel discussion in December organized by the Center for Responsible Lending, a consumer advocacy group.

The nation’s $1.7 trillion in student debt is “disproportionately affecting Black Americans and communities of color,” Harrington, the group’s federal advocacy director, said during the discussion.

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