The Burden Of Debt At HBCUs

Students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities borrow on average about $26,000 to pay for school. Their peers at other schools take on only about half that amount of debt. Katherine M. Saunders, senior researcher for the United Negro College Fund’s Frederick D. Patterson Research Institute, joins us to talk about how this extra burden affects black students in the long run.

Katherine Saunders on …

… why HBCU students are forced to take on more debt: 

“HBCU’s in 2012 enrolled 84 percent of African Americans. Research from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that African American families generally have lower assets and lower incomes than other racial groups. For example, in 2011 the median net worth for an African American household was only around $6,300, but for a white household, that number is at $111,000. Said another way, African American households only hold less than six percent of the typical net worth of white families. Because of that socioeconomic difference, it’s not uncommon that we see that these low-income students at HBCU’s are turning to more costly unsubsidized loans, parent PLUS loans, and they’re also combining loan sources from the state, from the government, from private sectors as well.”