By Cecilia Clark

January 25, 2023

The fate of up to $20,000 in student loan cancellation for over 40 million borrowers is now in the hands of the Supreme Court. One group, however, has the most to lose if the court decides against the Biden administration.

That group is Black women.

“We are told that if you get your education, you can make more money,” says Tisa Silver Canady, author of “Borrowing While Black.” “And then you find yourself in this situation where the education that was supposed to open doors has put you in the biggest trap of your life.”

Black women bear a disproportionate amount of the $1.6 trillion federal student debt total with higher debt averages than any other demographic. For example, Black women have 43% more undergraduate debt and nearly 99% more graduate school debt than their white woman counterparts 12 months after graduation, according to an April 2022 study by the nonprofit organization The Education Trust.

The problem is complicated. “Higher education has become this system for perpetuating financial inequality, when it is believed in our society to be this great equalizer,” says Fenaba Addo, author of “A Dream Defaulted: The Student Loan Crisis Among Black Borrowers.”