Law profs Dalie Jimenez and Jonathan Glater have written Student Debt is a Civil Rights Issue: The Case for Debt Relief and Higher Education Reform for the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review. Here is the abstract:
For an ever-growing number of students aspiring to higher education, borrowing is essential. Yet the burdens of indebtedness dis-proportionally harm Black and Latinx students. Debt also undermines the meaning and effect of higher education access, enabling many who borrow to reach the middle class but still limiting possibilities relative to students who do not need to borrow or who borrow less — students who are more likely to enjoy relative privilege. This Article identifies ways in which student indebtedness works systematically to disadvantage those students who belong to groups historically subordinated on the basis of race, and thus provides more concrete historical and empirical grounding for reforms that would improve the accessibility of higher education. The Article develops proposals for reform, including debt forgiveness and elimination of public institution tuition, to promote greater equity in access.