Georgia non-profit: How barriers to higher education are contributing to occupational segregation

(LA Johnson/NPR)

LA Johnson / LA Johnson

Student debt is a major barrier for economic and social mobility, leading to racial stratification by industry and job title, according to the non-profit Georgia Budget and Policy Institute.

In a report released recently, co-authors Ashley Young and Ray Khalfani say women of color, specifically Black women, have the highest average amount of student debt, holding them back from economic advancement.

“I think that that’s important that we center their stories because again, Black women are really, really suffering not just in Georgia, but nationwide from student loan debt,” said Young.

The report highlights how obstacles to accessing post-secondary degrees and certifications contribute to segregation in the workplace.

The authors recommend adding more school counselors to help students navigate life after high school and implementing need-based scholarships for higher education in Georgia.

Georgia is one of two states that does not have a state program for need-based financial aid.

Chriostopher Alston contributed to this report.