August 24, 2022
As leaders in higher education committed to addressing the disparities in outcomes for college students from marginalized communities, the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education (NADOHE) supports President Biden’s announcement on student loan forgiveness, while also acknowledging that it does not go far enough.
The data is clear that more needs to be done. All too often, students with lower socioeconomic standing are saddled with significant debt, while often being forced to take loans with higher rates of interest and more challenging payment terms. They are often paying significantly more in real dollars and per dollar earned post-college than their wealthier classmates for the same education.
Black, Indigenous, and students of color leave college with higher amounts of debt, further exacerbating existing wealth inequality than white college students. Forgiving student loan debt is a racial equity issue and an opportunity for policymakers to boost generational wealth and the American economy. A college degree makes a person more than four times more likely to rise to the top of the family wealth ladder, but significant student debt impedes this social mobility.
While no single solution will address the student debt crisis, today’s action is an essential first step, but more needs to be done. We encourage the president and Congress to look for executive and legislative solutions that provide systematic ways to address the current student loan debt crisis and to make higher education more accessible, equitable and affordable.
The National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education (NADOHE) is the preeminent voice for chief diversity officers. As the leader of the national conversation on diversity, equity, and inclusion, it investigates, influences, and innovates to transform higher education so that inclusive excellence lives at its core.