Saturday, October 23, 2010

Social Work and Loan Forgiveness Struggles

In the Fall 2010 edition of The New Social Worker, there's an article where social work graduates are struggling to repay their high student loan debt. As tuition continues to rise faster than inflation, graduates are finding themselves in positions where they owe more in loans than what they earn in entry-level salaries.

...“While the amount of educational debt is not confined to a particular segment of the student population, the implications are vastly different for those who choose careers, like social work, in which salaries tend to be lowered....” Further, the report says, “Educational debt has also been blamed for deterring students from public service careers, thus increasing pressures on a workforce already facing shortages.”

This statistic affects graduates from vulnerable populations:
Furthermore, nearly a quarter (21%) described their debt load as “unmanageable.” Those with such debt are more likely to be younger, female, single, and African American (more than Caucasians). Sixty-seven percent of those with unmanageable debt earned less than $49,999 a year, compared with 54% of those with manageable debt.

Meanwhile, doctoral student, Karen Zgoda, posted a list of excellent online social work resources by area of practice.

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