We know that Black students face greater hurdles when it comes to financing their college education and repaying student loans. Black students are more likely to borrow, borrow more, struggle with repayment, and default on their student loans than their peers.

Any solutions to the Black student debt crisis must not only address the immediate needs of those with existing debt, but help future generations of Black students complete college without crushing debt. Resources must go to the students who struggle the most to pay and the colleges that serve the greatest shares of students of color.

Student debt is not just a crisis for Black borrowers but the whole country. Racist public policy created it, and we will need bold structural solutions to fix it.

In this series, produced by The Education Trust and The Hechinger Report, higher-education policy experts propose potential solutions to this urgent crisis – ranging from increased investment in HBCUs and state-federal partnerships to more and better career counseling and reparations from colleges and universities. We hope that the bold solutions put forth here may serve as an important first step towards responding to the Black student debt crisis.

* Portions of the series were produced and edited in collaboration with The Hechinger Report. The views of the authors do not necessarily reflect those of The Education Trust.