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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

$1.7 trillion in college debt is 'mostly unrepayable'

Even if President Biden is able to figure some student loans, most of the $1.7 trillion in college debt will not be repaid -- ever, write Laura Beamer and Marshall Steinbaum, researchers at the Jain Family Institute.

"The promise of higher education leading directly to high incomes is hollow," they write. Some college graduates do well in the workforce fairly quickly. Others never earn enough to pay the interest on their loans, much less the principal.

Males and white and Asian borrowers do the best at paying down the principal and interest on their student loans. Females and black and Latino borrowers do the worst: Their loan balances keep rising.

Males, whites and Asians are more likely to go into STEM careers, which offer higher pay. I wonder if math proficiency in elementary and middle school predicts adult incomes.

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