Webinar: Racial Disparity and its Impact on Student Loan Borrowing

The Center for Financial Security, in partnership with the Wisconsin Coalition on Student Debt, and the Urban League of Greater Madison, is hosting an event entitled “Racial Disparity and its Impact on Student Loan Borrowing” on August 26, 2020 from 11am – 1pm CT.

Student loan debt has grown to over $1.7 trillion in the United States. Over 45 million Americans have student loans, and over 9 million—20%— student loan borrowers are in default. Student loans significantly impede people’s ability to save for retirement, buy a home, or start a family or business. The burden—and impact—of student loan debt disproportionately affects borrowers of color. And this burden has been exponentially exacerbated by recent COVID crisis.

This is event is designed to start a local discussion about the Disparate Impact crushing student debt is having on communities of color. It will being with two speakers who have studied the magnitude, causes, and impact of the disparities:

  • Dr. Fenaba R. Addo is an associate professor of consumer science at the University of Wisconsin. Ms. Addo studies the role of debt and increasing wealth inequality over the past 40 years within communities of color, among economically vulnerable populations in the U.S., and across the life course.
  • Kat Welbeck is a Civil Rights Counsel at the Student Borrower Protection Center, which recently published a paper entitled “Disparate Debts: How Student Loans Drive Racial Inequality Across American Cities.” Ms. Welbeck was previously an Outreach and Engagement Specialist in the CFPB’s Office of Public Engagement and Community Liaison.

Dr. Addo and Ms. Welbeck will be followed by a panel of student loan advisors, community leaders and others, who will share lived experiences and discuss the real world impacts—and barriers—the disparities present for students and borrowers of color. Included in the panel are Keyimani Alford, President of Wisconsin Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators and Director of Student Financial Support Services at Madison College, Joselyn Diaz-Valdes, Senior Financial Aid Advisor for the Office of Student Financial Aid at the University of Wisconsin, and Langston Evans, MMSD AVID District Coordinator. They will lead us in a discussion about the role racial disparity in student loan debt is playing out in our community.