Are Texas Students Borrowing Too Much Money? A New Study Suggests Yes, With the Deck Stacked Against Black Students

Texas students at public universities are taking on more debt than state leaders consider manageable, with black students facing the biggest financial challenges, according to a new study. State and national leaders want to reel in the student debt crisis and ensure that college graduates can afford the loans they take out to earn degrees. Texas set a goal for student debt load to be no more than 60% of a student's first-year earnings by 2030. But on average, Texas students borrowed $25,794, while their starting salaries were about $34,132. That equates to a debt-to-income ratio of 74%, according to the study by Southern Methodist University. And when parents' loans were factored in, that ratio jumped to 92%. But black students had debt-to-income ratios of 117% compared with 68% for white students and 71% for Latino students. That hints at other factors complicating the student-debt crisis, such as racial pay-gap inequities. The study's findings bring into sharp focus the challenges officials face when considering how to hold colleges more accountable for student success."My primary concern is that while accountability for institutions is important, it is really critical that they are not sanctioned or punished for educating certain types of students," said Dominique Baker, an assistant professor of education policy at SMU and the study's author.   Continue reading...

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