Two New Reports Disclose Shocking Information on Student Loan Debt

In October, the Institute of College Access & Success (TICAS) released its 11th annual report on the student loan debt of recent graduates from four-year colleges. According to the report, “about seven in 10 college seniors who graduated from public and private nonprofit colleges in 2015 owed an average of $30,100.” 

If you bring race into the equation, things get worse, specifically for blacks.

A report on student loan debt by the Brookings Institute claims that the typical black college graduate owes $25,000 more in student loans than their white peers four years after graduation. According to the report, black graduates typically “owe $52,726 on average, compared to $28,006 for the typical white graduate.”

The Brookings report also states that “black college graduates are substantially more likely to default on their debt within four years of graduation (7.6 percent versus 2.4 percent of white graduates).”

​Some other interesting information disclosed in the report is that “nearly half (48 percent) of black graduates see their undergraduate loan balances grow after graduation, compared to just 17 percent of white graduates.”

When it comes to tips on how to reduce student loan debt, the Brookings report recommends tracking debt and repayment patterns by race, and arranging the automatic enrollment of loan borrowers into income-based repayment plans. 

The TICAS report, however, offered suggestions that seemed more practical and beneficial for college students: states allocating grant aid to students based on need more than merit; colleges being more transparent with potential students about college costs, aid and debt; students receiving annual notifications about their loan balances; and more awareness raised about income-based repayment plans as options for satisfying student loan debt. 

​There is a lot of statistical information disclosed in both of the reports. The data shared above is simply a snapshot. I encourage you to read both reports in their entirety if this information piques your interest.

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