“Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.”Malcolm X
Less than 22% of Black (21%), Latinx (16%), and Native American (15%) people have a four-year college degree. People of color have less wealth to pay for tuition and expenses, and degrees do not translate into wealth building opportunities. Graduates of color increasingly have debt that stalls other life goals, and they are more likely to fall behind on payments.
Policies for consideration:
Lowering the cost of college: As tuition rates and housing costs increase, college is becoming less attainable or feasible for many people of color. The most robust proposal is eliminating tuition and fees at four-year public colleges and universities, tribal colleges, community colleges, trade schools, and apprenticeship programs. Further, the federal government should provide substantial financial assistance to nonprofit HBCUs and other minority-serving institutions every year to eliminate or significantly reduce tuition and fees for low-income students.
Increase student aid: Lowering the cost of tuition will not reach all students, but giving students more money to pay for college could go further. There are several proposals to increase the number of Pell Grants, distribute them earlier than college to allow them to grow in value, and to cap interest rates on student loans so they are less expensive.
Eliminating current student loan debt for everyone: Crippling student loan debt is stalling the financial hopes and dreams of many young people of color and, increasingly, senior citizens. Eliminating the entire $1.5 trillion of debt would be transformative for 45 million borrowers carrying this debt.