STUDENT DEBT IS FUELING THE BLACK-WHITE WEALTH GAP — AND PURSUING A COLLEGE DEGREE HAS BECOME ‘RACIALIZED,’ THIS PROFESSOR SAYS. Over the past several years, policymakers and pundits have gained a greater understanding of the disproportionate impact the nation’s debt-based college finance system has on Black families and borrowers.
That’s thanks in part to Fenaba Addo, an associate professor of consumer science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who studies debt and its role in racial wealth inequality. Addo’s research has shown, among other things, that the gap in student debt held by Black and white borrowers grows by 6.8% each year. As a result, Black young adults hold 10.4% less wealth on average than their white counterparts due to student debt.