Student Debt Sustains Inequity Long After Graduation

June 4, 2015 | | Generation Progress |
The cost of college has risen 1,120 percent over the past three decades. Today, students are united in the near-universal nature of paying for school through student loans. However, this reliance on student loans does not create a more equal cohort of graduates. In fact, student loans and the rising cost of college are actually sustaining and prolonging inequity.
 
A new report by Mark Huelsman from the think tank Demos, “The Debt Divide: The Racial and Class Bias Behind the ‘New Normal’ of Student Borrowing,” examines the shift to a debt-based system in financing higher education. This “new normal” has forced many into difficult decisions, like whether or not to go to college, what kind of college to attend, and where to live.
 
In the report, Hueslman looks specifically at how the new norm of going into debt for a degree affects less-advantaged communities. It turns out the current student loan-based system stratifies inequality in America. Hueslman discusses the ways in which people of color have been shut out of ladders of upward economic mobility, and are affected by debt more than their white counterparts.
 
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