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The Growing Burden of Black Student Debt

  • Jordan Conwell and Louise Seamster
  • February 21 2024
  • W109-2024

Jordan Conwell

Louise Seamster

Jordan Conwell, Department of Sociology, The University of Texas at Austin
Louise Seamster, Department of Sociology and Criminology and the African American Studies program, University of Iowa

Student loan debt weighs heavily on many people in the United States, and Black borrowers—in particular Black women—often acquire more debt than their White peers. This is sometimes the result of debt incurred without graduating but can also indicate larger loans to finance one or more degrees. These factors can be compounded by wage discrimination that means that Black college graduates often make less than comparable White workers. This webinar will explore why racial disparities in education debt burdens exist and are growing, the role of student loan debt in the racial wealth gap, and what policies and practices may help to turn the tide for Black borrowers.

Recording of the Webinar

Additional Resources

Presentation Slides (pdf file)


Economic Support, Economic Support General, Education & Training, Employment, Employment General, Inequality & Mobility, Postsecondary Education, Racial/Ethnic Inequality