Race, Class, and Student Debt as a System of Social Stratification

2020 SLLI Research Grant

SLLI is awarding a grant to Charlie Eaton and Laura Hamilton, Professors of Sociology at the University of California, Merced, along with Adam Goldstein and Frederick Wherry, Professors of Sociology at Princeton University. The professors will engage in several distinct projects using SLLI’s proprietary historical FFELP loan data, including examining the role of for-profit school ownership structures in borrower outcomes and studying the effectiveness of state solutions to predatory for-profit institutions, such as state grant eligibility, consumer disclosures, recruitment incentive bans, and enforcement actions. Moreover, the professors will use SLLI’s datasets to explore the role of the secondary student loan refinance market in exacerbating racial and social class inequalities. As for-profit institutions continue to saddle borrowers with tens of thousands of dollars in loans that they will struggle to repay, this research will reveal the most effective policy interventions that state and federal policymakers and regulators can use to increase oversight and accountability of these companies.

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