The Student Debt Initiative

The Dignity + Debt Network is exploring issues and solutions for student loan debt traps on a number of fronts. These include the recent “Digging out With Dignity” conference at Princeton University, co-presented with the Aspen Insitute’s Financial Security Program (October 18, 2019). In collaboratiom with the VizE Lab, our projects in this initiative enable scholars, students, and former students to visualize data on the enduring social inequalities that structure student debt. We offer means to broaden the conversation about the impact of student debt and imagine solutions for the student debt crisis and for financing higher education.

Comparing and Calculating Your Student Debt

In these interactive charts, you can compare your own total student loans with the average amounts among several social groups in the US. Recalculate your student loan with changes you can make now. Learn how much you could save by refinancing or pay down your loan faster by paying a little more per month. GO

Student Debt and Racial Disparities

If sociologist W.E.B Du Bois were working on the urgent issue of student loan indebtedness, he would find that enduring racial lines and other social cleavages help predict how debts are obtained and affect whether groups of people are allowed to carry them with dignity. Our visualization gallery “The Problem of Colored Lines” explores these inequities in Du Bois’s evocative style. GO

Student Debt Contest

Visualizations render data meaningful for people around the world. They are able to reveal what might be either changed or strengthened through policy and individual action. Enter our contest to envision a meaningful future of financial autonomy and educational inclusion around the world. Submissions are due by September 19, 2020 and awards will be announced in October 2020. GO