As college students, many of us are already all too familiar with the concept of student loan debt. Often, it is an unfortunate necessity that to enter the workforce as a skilled worker and pursue a fulfilling career, an individual must borrow thousands of dollars and later be faced with the daunting responsibility of paying that money back. What you may not know is that women tend to pay more for their education than do men.
Firstly, data collected by the government shows that women take on more student loans than men. The reason for this is unclear, but it seems that women have to borrow more than men in order to fund the same academic pursuits.
However, the biggest factor impacting how much women pay for college is how much they are paid once they graduate. Though no where near the problem it was in the past, there is still a significant pay gap between men and women — women make anywhere from 18 to 26 percent less than their male counterparts. Because they are making less money, they take longer to pay back what they borrowed to earn their degree. This extra time spent paying off loans allows more interest to gather on the principle, so that by the time the end sum of college cost is calculated, women have spent more than men.
With awareness, comes change. If the word gets around about the problem and enough people work together at solving it, future generations of college students may not face the same problems present today.
If you would like to get involved and be a part of that change, you can plug into to the AAUW, or contact your state representative and express your thoughts on equal pay legislation and other issues. It doesn’t matter if you are just one voice — it only takes one hand to plant a seed.