Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are already vowing to do something about student loan debt. That is why the $ 1.6 trillion issue can play a big role in the 2020 election.
Frequently Asked Questions, USA Today
It is not uncommon to collect family savings, scholarships, and federal loans to pay for college.
Less common: student parent loan. The Parent PLUS Loan provides parental funds with only a minimal check to see if they have the funds to repay it.
Among colored families, the loan is much more common – and those families are more likely to be drawn into debt. , PLUS parental loans have particular disadvantages. They have higher interest rates than direct loans: 7.1% and 4.5%, respectively; they are not related to income-based payment; they tend to let older Americans pay well into their retirement years. Six-digit parent loans: When college dreams for students mean nightmare debt for the family called the HBCU.
How PLUS Parental Loans Injured HBCU Families
To understand the impact of PLUS parental loans on HBCUs, we looked at datasets from the Education Department and the National Center for Education Statistics, in particular the National Postgraduate Student Survey help for 2015-16, which we arranged to look at students whose parents still consider them dependent.
This is a much higher percentage than the proportion of black students national student body overall: 12%.
This over-representation may not seem significant, but it becomes clearer when we break down parental income loans.
It is clear that parenting is disproportionately injuring black families, especially black low-income families.
For white families, borrowing from Parent PLUS can be more of a financial strategy for moving money and assets without investing too much money in higher education. More than 60% of white borrowers have annual household incomes over $ 75,000. They are the people this program was originally designed for middle-class families. And they are more able to pay off loans in the future.
But for black families, the PLUS PLUS loan is more likely to be the last tool to send their children to college. Over 40% of borrowers have an annual household income of $ 30,000 or less. Their children may have already paid off the amount they can borrow in federal student loans. Without Parent PLUS credits, students cannot afford to go to college. But the heavy burden of debt on parents, combined with the burden of student debt, can result in low-income black families much deeper into debt.
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And the situation is worsening. Loans for PLUS Parents at HBCU have grown over four years, according to data from the National Post-Graduate Student Support Survey.
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HBCU students rely heavily on Parent PLUS credits to fund their college expenses.
More than 20% of HBCU students have used Parent PLUS loans to cover at least 30% of their expenses, while only 14.3% of general students need the loans.
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three HBCUs in Atlanta with a private college with a white major in the same city, Emory University, using reports from the Federal Student Aid office.  Spelman College, Morehouse College, and Cl Atlanta Arch University combined to have a similar number of students as Emory University. But the parents at Emory have taken a small portion of the Parent PLUS loans that the parents at the three HBCUs have.
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the same number of students as these three HBCUs. It shows a great comparison between the size of HBCU parents employed and parents in similar colleges.
USA TODAY Javier Zarachina and Open Campus, a nonprofit focused on higher education, contributed to this project.
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