WTTW roundtable on Monday, Oct. 31 framed the student loan debate as part of the racial wealth gap in a conversation that included CEO Horacio Mendez.
About 48 million Americans have student loan debt — totaling more than $1.75 trillion.
When it comes to paying off that debt, Black and Latino graduates are struggling. Nearly half of Black students owe an average of 12.5% more than they borrowed, according to the Education Data Initiative.
Horacio Mendez, president and CEO of the Woodstock Institute, says the racial wealth gap is at the root of the problem.
“A lot of research has been done over the years on the racial wealth gap as it relates to assets; things like the ability to buy a home or save for retirement, but not as much has been focused on the debt side of the racial wealth gap,” Mendez said.