Community Colleges and Federal Student Loans

The surprising number of community college students without access to federal student loans, By Danielle Douglas-Gabriel, July 1, 2016, Washington Post: “A growing number of community colleges are exiting the federal student loan program, leaving nearly a million students without access to low-cost options to pay for school, according to a new study from the Institute for College Access and Success.  The advocacy group found that nearly 1 in 10 community college students in 32 states have no access to federal student loans. Nearly half of these students are in California or North Carolina. In eight states, including Alaska, Alabama and Louisiana, more than 20 percent of students attend schools that have opted out of the federal government’s student loan program…”

State Community College Affordability

The student debt crisis at state community colleges, By Sophie Quinton, May 10, 2016, Stateline: “Community colleges charge lower tuition than just about anywhere else. They’re open to everyone. They offer the kind of technical training employers want. And they can serve as an affordable steppingstone to a four-year degree. As President Barack Obama said in the fall: ‘They’re at the heart of the American Dream.’  But while plenty of community college students graduate with a degree that leads to a better job, or to a four-year college, many community college students drop out. And a growing number of students are taking on debt they cannot repay…”

Poverty and Debt

Debt weighs heavily on those trying to rise from poverty, By Megan Woolhouse, November 12, 2014, Boston Globe: “Roberta Brown, a 37-year-old single mother, lives in a homeless shelter, desperately trying to find the job that will help her gain a new home and better life. She recently earned a certificate as medical assistant, hopeful it would lead to a job in the state’s burgeoning health care industry. But that has not been not enough to surmount what Brown believes are the greatest barriers to her employment: the $20,000 in credit card debt she ran up while out of work several years ago and her damaged credit report. Each time she applies at a hospital, she’s asked to sign an agreement allowing the employer to check her credit…”

Consumer Debt Loads

How debt loads are changing for young and old consumers, By Jonnelle Marte, October 8, 2014, Washington Post: “The kind of debt consumers take on is changing. And the changes look very different by age, according to a TransUnion report released Wednesday that looks at the shifting make up of consumer debt loads over time. Not surprisingly, younger consumers are seeing student loans crowd out most other types of loans, says Charlie Wise, vice president in TransUnion’s Innovative Solutions Group. For instance, student loans accounted for 36.8 percent of the total debt load for consumers ages 20 to 29 in 2014, up from the 12.9 percent reported in 2005…”

Student Loan Debt and Black Students

It’s hardest for black students to get the financial benefits of college, By Natalie Kitroeff, September 2, 2014, Bloomberg BusinessWeek: “Black students rely more on student loans to pay for college than other racial groups and they’re less likely to pay off the debt, according to a study released today. The research was presented at a conference on higher education and minorities in Washington, D.C., hosted by the University of California, Los Angeles, Civil Rights Project. “Student debt today has a color,” said Sara Goldrick-Rab, a professor at the University of Wisconsin, Madison and the study’s lead author, at the conference. Most of the people who borrow for their education are white, Goldrick-Rab said, but a larger share of black students and are in debt than any other racial group…”

Student Debt and Homeownership

Student debt Is hurting homeownership for blacks more than whites, By Nick Timiraos, June 20, 2014, Wall Street Journal: “Is student loan debt causing young adults to retreat from the housing market en masse? No, but it’s having some impact, and the debt burden appears to be hitting black borrowers harder than whites, says a recent paper from researchers Jason Houle of Dartmouth College and Lawrence Berger of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The authors look at the relationship between student-loan debt and homeownership for those under age 30. The authors do find an inverse relationship between student loan debt and homeownership, mortgage acquisition and the amount of mortgage debt. But the overall relationship is modest . . .”