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New Study of Black-White Gap in Student Loan Debt

March 9, 2016

A new study of the gaps in student loan debt between black and white young adults both confirms reports of the gap and provides new details. The study, published in the journal Race and Social Problems, finds that black young adults have 68.2 percent more student loan debt, on average, than do white young adults. The research speculates that much of this gap is based on the greater wealth, on average, of white families. But the study also points to differences in the way white and black wealthy families are different in the support they provide to their children to minimize college debt. Among white families, students from wealthier backgrounds borrow less. But this is not true for black families, the study found. The research speculates that black families of means may not have as much wealth in liquid assets.

The study's co-authors are Fenaba R. Addo, assistant professor of consumer science at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, Jason N. Houle, assistant professor of sociology at Dartmouth College and Daniel Simon, a graduate student of sociology at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

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Scott Jaschik

Scott Jaschik, Editor, is one of the three founders of Inside Higher Ed. With Doug Lederman, he leads the editorial operations of Inside Higher Ed, overseeing news content, opinion pieces, career advice, blogs and other features. Scott is a leading voice on higher education issues, quoted regularly in publications nationwide, and publishing articles on colleges in publications such as The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, Salon, and elsewhere. He has been a judge or screener for the National Magazine Awards, the Online Journalism Awards, the Folio Editorial Excellence Awards, and the Education Writers Association Awards. Scott served as a mentor in the community college fellowship program of the Hechinger Institute on Education and the Media, of Teachers College, Columbia University. He is a member of the board of the Education Writers Association. From 1999-2003, Scott was editor of The Chronicle of Higher Education. Scott grew up in Rochester, N.Y., and graduated from Cornell University in 1985. He lives in Washington.

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