Mark Huelsman, a senior policy analyst focusing on higher education at the nonpartisan think tank Demos, is also critical of the Department of Education: “The problem that we’ve seen over the past year and a half is that the effort to ensure that Corinthian’s fall wasn’t a total catastrophe is not being met by the effort to make sure that the students who were defrauded — and we know now that they were defrauded — have a very easy, simple, expedited process for debt relief.” Forprofit colleges, he notes, make most of their money from the federal government either through student loans or
While students could always use more information about their loans and the cost of college, focusing too heavily on financial literacy as a route to curbing student debt “overcomplicates the discussion,” said Mark Huelsman, a senior policy analyst at Demos, a left-leaning think tank. College graduates are struggling with debt in large part because it simply costs a lot more to go to college these days, a fact of life students can’t get around even if they’re armed with more information, he said.
As a result of having limited savings or other assets to cover the cost of college, African American families borrow heavily to pay for it. Researchers at the liberal think tank Demos found 4 out of 5 black graduates take out loans to attend public colleges, compared with less than two-thirds of whites.
African American students who borrow come out with more debt than their peers, often facing dismal job prospects. College-educated blacks have twice the unemployment rate of their white counterparts.
The Bennett Hypothesis likely explains tuition increases at some colleges, particularly for-profit universities, which are trying to maximize revenue, and graduate programs for which students can take out federal loans up to the cost of the program, said Mark Huelsman, a senior policy analyst at Demos, a left-leaning think tank. But not every type of higher education institution responds to increases in aid in the same way, he said.
Political scientists who have studied voter registration have found generally that young and highly mobile people are the ones least likely to be registered. They tend to have lower incomes as well.
For example, in a 2015 report, ‘Why Voting Matters,’ a research associate at Demos, Sean McElwee, found that “white Americans, and particularly affluent white Americans” are much more likely to vote than “people of color, low-income people, and young people.”
The average Black household has fewer resources than the average white one — and the disparity is only getting worse. In 2015, the median wealth of white households was 16 times that of Black households, according to a study from Brandeis University and public policy organization Demos. The numbers are stark — while the typical white household has more than $100,000 in assets, the typical Black household has just over $7,000.