Saturday, February 24, 2024

Latino Students Encountering Crippling Student Loan Debt

student debt

Although there has been a promising increase in the number of Latino students pursuing a higher education throughout the United States, these students are facing crippling student loan debt. The amount of debt Latino students have accrued in recent years skyrocketed and disproportionately hindered Hispanics according to recent studies conducted by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the Federal Reserve Board.

The Federal Reserve Board released a survey this month that found that on average, young Americans have $28,900 in student debts.  This staggering figure is only dwarfed by the $1.12 trillion in student loan debt that an estimated 40 million people in the United States have accumulated collectively. FINRA found that Latinos are disproportionately burdened by student debt. 36 percent of Latinos have student loans compared to 32 percent of whites.

For-profit colleges are one of many reasons Latinos have found themselves accumulating significant debt. Sarah Audelo, a policy director at the Center for American Progress said, “very frequently our Latino students are getting hounded by these for-profit colleges that are increasingly expensive and are having students take out a lot of loans for degrees, that in many cases, are not good degrees and are not getting students placed into good jobs.”

Those students that do not attend for profit colleges and instead go to private or state universities also encounter sky-high tuition rates but many lack the financial literacy or institutional resources to help them navigate the process of paying for college. The Hispanic Association of colleges and Universities (HACU) and the American Student Association have recently launched significant efforts to bridge the gap of financial literacy among Latino students in order to ensure that their loans do not undermine their ability to fully reap the benefits of their hard earned education.