Seton Hall University

The real meaning behind high loan default rates among black students — another kind of college mismatch

The real meaning behind high loan default rates among black students — another kind of college mismatch

As high school seniors head into the holiday season — also known less festively as college application time — they need to devote as much effort to calculating the debt they’ll take on as they do perfecting their admission essays. The data show that a lot of kids don’t know what they are getting into when they take out a student loan. And for certain groups of kids the problem is a lot worse.

According to two analyses based on numbers released from the Department of Education last month, almost half of all black students who took out federal student loans defaulted within 12 years. Robert Kelchen, a professor of higher education at Seton Hall University, conducted one of the...

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