The Education Trust hosted a webinar Wednesday along with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), Black Girls Vote, and Higher Heights for America PAC.
Diverse Education reports panelists at the webinar addressed the disproportionate financial and mental burden of student debt on Black women and how it affects their physical and mental health and their families.
According to the Education Trust, Black women owe an average student debt of $38,000 after earning a bachelor’s degree and $52,000 after earning a graduate degree. Additionally, Education Trust says that 12 years after starting college, Black women typically owe 113% of their student loans while every other demographic can pay off some portion of what they owe.
Victoria Jackson, assistant director of higher education policy at Education Trust, said Black women “shoulder the greatest burden from the high cost of college.”
“We have fewer resources because of racism and sexism — gender and wealth pay gaps are well documented,” Jackson told Diverse Education.
“When you think about the stress caused by not seeing any decline on your balance, how demoralizing that can be, it creates financial stress and has ripple effects. Research shows debt, in general, can harm mental health.”