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Tackling The Student Debt Crisis


Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021

While a college education is a key facet of the American Dream, the degree often comes with a significant cost: the average student loan debt in 2021 is more than $36,000.

Altogether, around 43 million Americans owe about $1.6 trillion in federal student loans.

Increased debt is linked to delays in marriage, fewer small business startups and fewer families being able to purchase a home. In addition, the impact is racially disproportionate: Black college graduates owe, on average, $25,000 more in student loan debt than white college graduates.

While some prominent Democrats are calling to forgive outright $50,000 in federal loans of many borrowers, President Biden has dismissed that idea. Still, he has so far shown support for $10,000 in federal loan forgiveness through legislation.

We sit down with leading experts to understand how student debt has ballooned to the trillions and how it impacts much more than just the borrowers.


Danielle Douglas-Gabriel, economics of education reporter for The Washington Post

Beth Akers, resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute

Laura Beamer, lead researcher at Jain Family Institute

Jesse Steinmetz is Producer of Charlotte Talks with Mike Collins. Before joining WFAE in 2019, he was an intern at WNPR in Hartford, Connecticut and hosted a show at Eastern Connecticut State University.