Black, Latine, Native American students shouldering more college costs than peers

Black, Latine, and Native American college students are more likely to assume full financial responsibility for their college education than their white, Asian, and Middle Eastern student peers, according to a new study. For the analysis, LendEDU, an online marketplace for financial products such as student loans, reviewed more than 13,500 survey answers collected by College Pulse from students at 200 colleges. Overall, 39 percent of the full-time students in four-year degree programs surveyed by College Pulse reported paying for some of their expenses, and 29 percent said they pay for the entirety of their degree.

“Across the board, education administrators need to look at these stats,” study author Mike Brown told Diverse Issues in Higher Education. “Not just college, but high school, too, because you can determine resources and an ability to afford college that early.”

Nearly half of Black and Latine students paying for some college

The study found that 42 percent of Black and Latine students are paying for some of their education, and 32 percent pay for all of it. Speaking with Diverse Issues, Harry L. Williams, president and CEO of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, said Black student borrowing is closely related to the wealth gap in the United States. “That gap could be a major factor as to why our students are incurring more student loan debt than their majority counterparts across the board,” he said.

More than one-third of Native American students paying for all of college

LendEDU, meanwhile, found that 36 percent of Native American students are responsible for paying for their entire education. Dina Horwedel, director of public education for the American Indian College Fund, said the results are not surprising: 87 percent of tribal college students in 2015 received Pell Grants, a marker of economic vulnerability. “Because of our students’ socioeconomic background—more than half live in poverty, according to the most recent U.S. Census Bureau numbers—parents often cannot afford to pay for their students’ tuition,” she said.

Other results included highly similar responses among men and women and indications that far fewer international students shoulder the costs of college without parental assistance.

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