All posts by Katelyn DeBaun-Fee

Katelyn DeBaun-Fee is the Lead Editor for the Prosp(a)rity Project, a nonprofit organization operating with 501(c)(3) status. She holds a B.A. in Communication from John Carroll University and an M.A. in American Political Science from Kent State University. A former college journalist, graduate scholar, and public policy instructor, she now uses her knowledge of research and the political/media landscape, as well as her pursuit for equity and service for others, in the nonprofit sector.

Defeating Disparity– By Katelyn DeBaun-Fee

Race & Economic Disparity

By the end of 2020, federal student loan debt in the United States surpassed $1.7 trillion, increasing by over 100% in the last decade. While this has become a national crisis impacting nearly 45 million borrowers, Black women are the most heavily burdened. A 2020 report by the AAUW indicates that Black women, on average, hold over $37,000 in loans each, compared to $31,346 held by white women, and $29,862 held by white men. As a whole, Black women, despite being the most institutionally educated demographic in the U.S., have a total of $35 billion in student loan debt.  Furthermore, 57% of Black female college graduates indicate that they struggle to repay their student loans. While white borrowers are able to pay back an average of 10% of their total student loan debt each year, Black borrowers are only able to pay an average of 4% back, largely due to racial pay disparity.

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