Changes To The Parent Loan Program Hurt Black Students

For or against? Some argue that it hurt our black students and our HBCUs. While some say this loan was leaving a large number of African-American families with debt that could not afford to pay back.

The number of black students enrolled at four-year universities and colleges across the United States declined in 2012-13, a year after the federal government tightened credit standards for issuing loans to parents.

The decline of blacks was greater than that of students of other races and ethnicities, according to a research done by the U.S. Department of Education.  Historically black colleges and universities, where black students make up more than 80 percent of the student body, were particularly hard hit.

The number of recipients of federal parent loans fell 46 percent, compared to a 29 percent drop at other colleges that educate students from low-income families. The steep fall in college loans coincided with a 3.4 percent drop in the number of students enrolled at historically black schools, a loss of almost 100 students per institution on average.

“This is a tough, touchy issue,” said Rachel Fishman, a policy analyst at the New America Foundation. “I agree the numbers don’t look good and you’re turning off access to higher education. But these loans were saddling low-income parents with debt they couldn’t afford to repay.”

With all that said, we have to say against. Any opportunity that gives someone a new opportunity is worth being explored.


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