Aug 5, 2019
The numbers are staggering: 70% of American college graduates carry student debt and our outstanding national student debt level now exceeds $1.5 trillion. A new report, Quicksand: Borrowers of Color and the Student Debt Crisis, authored by Center for Responsible Lending CRL) and the NAACP describes the scope of the problem, identifies which communities are most impacted and recommends systemic reforms. Debt impacts which jobs borrowers take, communities they live in, schools their children attends and delays home purchases by 7 years. Ashley Harrington, CRL’s Senior Policy Council and co-author of Quicksand, explains that our national narrative about education as a pathway for advancement is at odds with the lived experience of students who are not wealthy and White. If access to education is a national value, why has there been a steady disinvestment by the federal government in public colleges? The opportunity for higher education to lessen the racial wealth gap is undermined by federal policies that enable private colleges to manipulate their students and loan servicing that makes repayment almost impossible. Quicksand offers solutions and ways for us to support those solutions. Our voices matters and we need to use them.