81% of full-time college and university students are facing financial difficulties due to the current coronavirus pandemic, with more than a quarter having trouble paying bills or feeding themselves, according to a new report from student debt resource platform Student Loan Hero.
Some of the most alarming data in the report suggests that the current coronavirus pandemic may be disproportionately affecting college students of color.
"Black and Hispanic students reported a much higher level of food and housing insecurity due to the COVID-19 pandemic than their white peers. Specifically, 33% of black students were having trouble covering food costs, and 22% struggled with housing expenses," said Rebecca Safier, the report's lead researcher. "In those same categories, the figures were 36% and 18% respectively, for Hispanic students. By comparison, 21% of white students reported suffering from food insecurity, and 14% faced housing issues."
To cope with some of the unique challenges facing full-time college students during this global health crisis, more than one-third of students (36%) are taking on additional debt. Over 17% reported amassing credit card debt, and 16% said they had to borrow additional student loans.
Student loan borrowers (47%) were more likely to take on additional debt than those without student loans (19%). And students who identified as either black or Hispanic were much more likely to be taking on debt (48%) than white students (29%).