The Student Loan Crisis Is Worse For African American Borrowers

Isheka N. Harrison
Written by Isheka N. Harrison
Student Loans Crisis
2/23/2016 College of DuPage’s Black Student Leadership Conference Tuesday, Feb. 23 2016. Opening remarks and keynote speaker, and events.(Photo for College of DuPage by James C. Svehla) No release signed

In his hit song “Sallie Mae Back,” rapper Dee-1 celebrates being able to get out of student loan debt. He calls the feat, “The New American Dream.” Based on data released by the U.S. Department of Education, Blacks have a much harder time achieving that dream than other races.

The data shows the typical Black student who is 12 years out of college owed more on their federal student loans than they originally borrowed. It also shows nearly half of Black borrowers defaulted, including 75 percent of those who dropped out of for-profit colleges, reported the Center for American Progress.

Racial discrimination in hiring, lack of support while in school and other systemic issues Blacks face that cause them to struggle disproportionately financially are among the reasons the Center for American Progress cite for the discrepancy.

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They discuss how he raised capital, the importance of focus, and spending too much time perfecting the product before launch. They also discuss Jay-Z’s blueprint for parting ways with team members via his break-up with Damon Dash. Busted and jailed for four years on marijuana charges.

Data also shows defaults depend more on a student’s circumstances and the type of institution they attended than their total amount of debt, according to Inside Higher Ed.

However, it should be noted that students who graduate from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) struggle more with student loan debt than others. While known for producing top Black leaders and successful professionals, HBCU graduates and millennials are feeling the consequences of student loan debt more than any other group.

It is not a problem that can be solved overnight. However, the Center for American Progress submitted a proposal to Congress to end default status in hopes it would help borrowers who are struggling. The center is also calling for greater accountability by policymakers and fixing admissions practices and funding systems so Black students are given a better chance to receive affordable, high-quality education.

About Isheka N. Harrison

Isheka N. Harrison is an experienced writer, editor, educator, media and communications professional who thoroughly enjoys telling people’s stories. A former editor of the South Florida Times, Isheka has been featured as a speaker for New Florida Majority’s “Black Women in Media” Panel for Women’s History Month, served as a judge for JM Lexus’ 2018 African American Achievers Awards and named one of “South Florida’s 40 Under 40 Black Leaders of Today and Tomorrow” by Legacy Magazine/Miami Herald. A native of Miami, Isheka's work has appeared in notable local and national media outlets including: ESSENCE Magazine, Upscale Magazine, The Miami Herald, The Miami Times and more. She holds a Master’s Degree in Public Relations from Kent State University and a Bachelor of Arts in English from Clark Atlanta University. Isheka is also a member of several para-professional organizations including the Black Professionals Network (BPN), National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) South Florida and ColorComm. To learn more about her story, you can connect with Isheka on LinkedIn at or on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @ishekah. To pitch her any tips or ideas for articles, email her at