Data Shows Black Graduates Who Took Out Federal Loans Owed Average of 105% of Initial Loan
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NCES Data Show Black or African American Graduates Who Took Out Federal Student Loans Owed Average of 105% of the Initial Loan Values 4 Years After Graduation

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Among 2015–16 college graduates with bachelor’s degrees who took out federal student loans, Black or African American graduates owed an average of 105% of the original amount borrowed four years after graduation.

This compared to 73% for white borrowers, according to one of two reports released today by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) within the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences (IES), according to a press release.

Additionally, four years after graduation, 77% of 2015–16 bachelor’s degree earners who majored in education were either new or continuing teachers in a regular classroom since 2017.

The second report, which examined the experiences of 2015–16 bachelor’s degree earners during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, found that 51% of 2015–16 graduates had the option to telecommute due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Between 14 and 29% of ethnic and racial minority degree earners took on additional family or child care responsibilities during the COVID-19 pandemic (American Indian or Alaska Native graduates, 29% ; Black or African American and Hispanic or Latino graduates, 19% each; and Asian graduates, 14%), compared to 11%of white degree earners who said they had additional family or child care responsibilities due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Data from the 2016/20 Baccalaureate and Beyond Longitudinal Study (B&B:16/20) show the array of issues that are impacting college graduates, both positively and negatively, early in their career paths,” said NCES Commissioner Peggy G. Carr.

“As our country responds to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, the data presented in these reports provide important information for uncovering and understanding the experiences of recent college graduates in an unprecedented time. Overall, the Baccalaureate and Beyond Longitudinal Study can be used to understand and chart pathways toward better opportunities for lifelong success.”

Baccalaureate and Beyond (B&B:16/20): A First Look at the 2020 Employment and Education Experiences of 2015–16 College Graduates

The first report, Baccalaureate and Beyond (B&B:16/20): A First Look at the 2020 Employment and Education Experiences of 2015–16 College Graduates, examines information on enrollment and employment status, federal student loan debt and repayment, earnings and other job characteristics, financial well-being, and teaching status—four years after earning 2015–16 bachelor’s degrees. Highlights from the report include:

– Four years after earning their bachelor’s degrees in 2015–16, Black or African American graduates who took out federal student loans owed an average of 105% of the original amount borrowed. American Indian or Alaska Native borrowers owed an average of 87% , and both Hispanic or Latino borrowers and borrowers of two or more races owed an average of 84% . Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander borrowers owed 82%, White borrowers owed 73%, and Asian borrowers owed 63% of the original amount borrowed four years later.

– Four years after graduation, 77% of 2015–16 bachelor’s degree earners who majored in education were either new or continuing teachers in a regular classroom since 2017. Ten percent of graduates who majored in education had never taught in a regular classroom, and 12% had left classroom teaching four years after graduation.

– Seventy-four percent of 2015–16 graduates were working full-time four years after graduation, 7% were working part time, 4% were unemployed, and 14% were out of the labor force. Thirty-one percent of graduates owned a home, and 34% reported negative net worth.

The data from the first report can be found here.

Baccalaureate and Beyond (B&B:16/20): A First Look at the 2020 Experiences of 2015–16 College Graduates During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The second report, Baccalaureate and Beyond (B&B:16/20): A First Look at the 2020 Experiences of 2015–16 College Graduates During the COVID-19 Pandemic, examines information on professional and personal experiences, federal student loan repayment, employment status and characteristics, changes to work arrangements, and unemployment compensation—four years after earning 2015–16 bachelor’s degrees. Highlights from the report include:

– Among 2015–16 bachelor’s degree earners, 29% of American Indian or Alaska Native graduates said they took on additional family or child care responsibilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Nineteen percent of both Black or African American graduates and Hispanic or Latino graduates said they took on additional family or child care responsibilities. Fourteen percent of Asian graduates, 12% of graduates of two or more races, and 11% of white graduates said they had additional family or child care responsibilities due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

– Twenty-six percent of 2015–16 bachelor’s degree earners said they worked more than desired due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and 27% said they worked less than desired.

– Among graduates who were working for pay and for whom four years after bachelor’s degree completion was during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, 51% said they were allowed to telecommute due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Among those who majored in education, 75% said they were allowed to telecommute due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

– Among graduates for whom four years after bachelor’s degree completion was during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, 13% said they received unemployment compensation due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

– Thirteen percent of 2015–16 bachelor’s degree earners said they delayed enrolling in additional education or training, while 14% said they pursued additional education or training due to the COVID-19 pandemic

The data from the second report can be found here.

The two publications released today use data from the 2016/20 Baccalaureate and Beyond Longitudinal Study (B&B:16/20), which is a national study of approximately 25,000 graduates from U.S. colleges and universities who were asked about their experiences in the four years since completing a bachelor’s degree. The study collected information on graduate and other education, experiences in the labor market, earnings and expenses, and family status. In addition to survey responses, information was collected from sources such as enrollment and federal student loan databases.


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