This can already be difficult in a world where the gender wage gap still exists for women with a college education, but there is yet another financial disparity in student loan debt that exists for women. Black woman.
Updated search American Association of University Women (AAUW) indicates that women hold two-thirds ($ 890 billion) of the country’s $ 1,400 billion student debt, and that black women graduate with at least $ 30,400 in debt, compared to $ 22,000 for their white counterparts.
Research further shows that “the gender gap in student loans has almost doubled in the past four years, and women now graduate with an average of $ 2,700 more in debt than men when they get a baccalaureate ”.
The data, updated via the 2015-2016 National Post-Secondary Student Assistance Study, also shows that women make up 56% of enrolled students, but are struggling with a whopping 65% of outstanding student debt.
“Student debt levels are at an all time high, with women carrying a greater debt burden than men,” Kim Churches, CEO of AAUW, said in a press release. “This debt is an albatross for many women as they embark on careers and work to support their homes and families. And, that only gets worse over time when paired with the gender pay gap. “
Women have been found to take two years longer than men to repay their student loans, and part of the reason is attributed to the gender pay gap. Female college graduates who work full time earn, on average, 25% less than their male counterparts with degrees, leaving women with less income to set aside to pay off their debts. borrowing. Black women, in particular, earn less than their white counterparts, earning $ 0.63 for every dollar earned by white men, compared to $ 0.79 for white women, according to reports.
“The imbalances are getting worse. Higher student debt, lower wages, child and family care costs and other factors all add up to leave women in deficit as they work to maintain their financial security, ”Churches added in the press release. “With women running more households today, that’s enough. Solutions are needed now.
The AAUW offers several recommendations for closing the gender gap in student loans, including supporting more than income-based repayment options and the protection of projects such as forgiveness of public service loans, the provision of services such as childcare at universities, and increased state and federal funding for public higher education institutions.
“With the Higher Education Act, Congress has the power to prepare today’s students for success, and that includes making sure they don’t graduate with crippling debt,” Deborah J. Vagins, senior vice president of public policy and research at AAUW, said in the statement. “We must support policies that make higher education accessible and affordable for all students, provide support and protection for student borrowers, and help close the gender and race gaps in student loans. “