Survey Finds That the Economic Recession Is Having a Major Negative Impact on African-American College Students

A survey by researchers at the University of Arizona finds that black students are having a more difficult time than white students in coping with the economic recession. The Arizona Pathways to Life Success for University Students is following the college careers of 2,000 students who enrolled as freshmen in the fall of 2007. About 3.4 percent of the students in the research group are black.

Among the findings in the latest data is that black students have on average $258 in credit card debt. This is more than twice the credit card debt held by the average white student. The credit card debt of black students has increased 219 percent since the previous survey, which was published last summer. In contrast, the average credit card debt of white students increased by 64 percent.

The research also showed that black students had amassed an average of $5,140 in student loan debt. This is quadruple the average student loan debt held by white students. The student loan debt of black students increased by more than 200 percent since the previous survey whereas the average student loan debt of white students increased by 45 percent.

The survey found that African-American students had the lowest “financial self-confidence” of any ethnic group on campus. Black students also reported the greatest decrease in their assessment of their personal health.