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Student Loans Hold Borrowers Back From the Middle Class, Study Says

  • Debt-financed education makes inequality worse: Jain Institute
  • College wage premium is illusory for millions, report argues

Student loans haven’t delivered their promise of a middle-class life for millions of Americans, and the US system of financing higher education via individual borrowing is making inequalities in the country worse, according to a new study.

The wage premium that comes with attending college hasn’t been enough to enable student borrowers from disadvantaged backgrounds to build wealth, according to the report by the Jain Family Institute, a nonpartisan research organization. It cites the large number of debtors who’ve been unable even to keep up with interest payments, meaning they now owe more than when they initially borrowed the money.