Amidst a global pandemic and economic crisis, young Texans are navigating unprecedented college costs and student loan debt. In 2019, we held workshops across the state with 150 borrowers who shared with us their debt burdens, higher education journeys, and visions of a Texas post-student debt. We then sent out a 2020 survey centering borrowers of color to 1,600 respondents in Texas, during a time of rising COVID-19 cases in Texas. Our findings show what we’ve known- student debt is directly impacting the future of young Texans, and the pandemic is exacerbating these impacts even more.
We’re thrilled to share our report, Student Debt in Texas: Why It’s Time to Collect on the Best Interests of Texas Borrowers. Our report, focused on the experiences of students and borrowers of color, reveals the impacts of debt on planning for the future, navigating the pandemic, and mental health, while highlighting key challenges in the debt-financed college system.
We call on Texas elected officials to:
- Enact broad-based federal student loan forgiveness, and explore state level debt forgiveness programs.
- Center students and borrowers of color in pandemic recovery, including passing Medicaid expansion.
- Increase equity-driven state investment in Texas higher education.
- Create a Student Borrower Bill of Rights with consumer protections, such as a student loan ombudsman, servicer registration or licensing, and for-profit college accountability.
- Findings Overview
- COVID-19 and Economic Impacts
- Student Loan Debt and Mental Health
- Student Loan Repayment
- Policy Recommendations
- Student Borrower Bill of Rights