HOUSTON – A new report says women hold 67 percent of the country's $1.3 trillion student loan debt.
The study by the American Association of University Women (AAUW) reveals women who graduate college owe about $1,500 more than men. The group also says the gender pay gap means it takes women longer to repay their loans.
“It’s encouraging that women are enrolling in college more than ever before, but at the same time they are taking on larger amounts of debt to pay for their dreams,” said Kevin Miller, Ph.D., the senior researcher for AAUW. “Because of factors like the gender pay gap, debt that could be manageable ends up becoming unmanageable, particularly for women.”
The startling numbers resonated with women like 22-year-old Sydney Hoyle who graduated from Texas Southern University last weekend.
"Why do I have to be in so much debt just to go to school to be better?" said Hoyle.
She has a job lined up, along with $32,000 in debt.
"That's a lot! That's a car!" Hoyle said.
AAUW recommends policy makers and higher education leaders work to expand and safeguard the Pell Grant program as just one part of the solution to ease the burden on all student borrowers.