A new study has discovered an intersectional racial and gender gap also exists in the realm of student loan debt.
According to a study conducted by the American Association of University Women (AAUW), black women owe an average of $30,400 in student loans compared to $22,000 for white women and $19,500 for white men.
The study also found women overall hold two-thirds of the U.S.’ debt, owing $890 million. Men only owe half of that figure.
Kim Churches, chief executive officer of AAUW, believes the wage gap contributes to these findings.
“Student debt levels have reached an all-time high, with women carrying a bigger burden of debt than men,” Churches said in a press release. “This debt is an albatross for many women as they embark on careers and work to support their households and families. And, it only gets worse over time when coupled with the gender pay gap.”
She might be on to something.
College-educated women who work full-time make 26 percent less than their male counterparts. Additionally, black women make 37 percent less than white men.
"It's a real problem and it's a problem with a distinct gender component," said Anne Hedgepath, the AAUW's director of federal policy, according to CBS. "It is taking women longer to repay their student debt for a number of reasons, like the gender pay gap in the workforce. Obviously, it has an impact on women's economic security, so it can certainly have an influence on their ability to pay rent or their health care."
The AAUW has a list of recommendations to close the debt gap including more aid for low-income students, increased funding for state colleges and universities and passing federal legislation like the Paycheck Fairness Act and the Pay Equity for All Act.
Now, check these out: