Study Links Debt to Black Graduation Rates

May 23, 2014

New research from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana finds that family debt can be a negative factor in determining whether students will graduate. But the study -- by Min Zhan, a social work professor, and Deirdre Lanesskog, a doctoral student -- found that the negative impact was far more powerful for black students. “The magnitude of the association indicates that family debt hurts black students’ chances of graduating much more than it hurts white students’ chances of graduating," said a statement from Zhan. "The overall debt-to-assets ratio was much higher – nearly 50 percent higher – among black families than white families, which may explain why debt had a stronger negative impact on black students.”

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