Both/And: Student Loan Forgiveness and Financial Aid for Latinos

What amount of student loan debt forgiveness would help Latino borrowers?

Current debates around loan forgiveness amounts look at $10,000 or $50,000 in debt forgiveness, and Latino students would greatly benefit from both. At $10,000 of forgiveness, about half of Latino borrowers would have their entire debt forgiven. At $50,000 of forgiveness, almost all Latino borrowers would have the total of their current loan debt forgiven.

Despite being low-income, why aren’t loan amounts for Latino students higher?

The majority of Latino students are first-generation and low-income and are adjusting to a financial aid system that was not built for them. Despite having high financial need, Latinos receive the lowest average financial aid award amongst all racial/ethnic groups. Half of Latinos do not borrow for their undergraduate education, citing that their costs have been covered.[2]

What should policymakers do to support current borrowers and future Latino students?

In these challenging times, lawmakers can do two things to improve affordability for Latinos and others: 1) provide at least $10,000 in loan forgiveness to support those who have debt based on their college-going; and, 2) significantly invest in students, including Latinos, who are still to come so that college-going can become a reality. This includes students who forgo loans and make other choices to make college affordable. Data are clear: $10,000 would provide relief and impact for most Latino borrowers. We should also support the Latino students looking to enroll and provide additional financial aid. (For a full list of Excelencia’s affordability priorities, visit our website.) Failing to address both issues would only further exacerbate inequities in our postsecondary system. Providing relief now and supporting future students are both needed to support Latinos’ economic prosperity and accelerate Latino student success.

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Excelencia in Education

Excelencia in Education

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Excelencia informs, leads, & accelerates Latino student success in higher education through research, evidence-based practices, and leadership.