Sara Goldrick-Rab will deliver the keynote address, “Women Paying the Price: Removing Barriers to Affordable Post-Secondary Education and Economic Security for All,” at BCWAC’s 11th annual Call to Action meeting.
The meeting will take place in the auditorium of the James-Lorah Memorial Home, 132 N. Main St., Doylestown, from 4 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 22. Register at bcwac.org/events/.
Goldrick-Rab, a professor of higher education policy and sociology at Temple University, is a founder of the Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice in Philadelphia, as well as the Wisconsin HOPE Lab.
The Chronicle of Higher Education calls Dr. Goldrick-Rab “a defender of impoverished students and a scholar of their struggles.”
An estimated 44 million Americans have accumulated approximately $1.4 trillion in student loans, tripling the total from 2005. Student debt is now the second largest credit debt for U.S. citizens, trailing only mortgage loans.
In Pennsylvania, as per-student funding fell more than 30 percent from 2008 to 2017, the cost of tuition at public universities rose 22.5 percent over the same time period. According to the 2016 College Affordability Diagnosis, published by the University of Pennsylvania’s Institute of Research on Higher Education, Pennsylvania ranks 49th in the nation for college affordability.
“Professor Goldrick-Rab’s research is important to the economic security of women,” said BCWAC President Kathy Beveridge, citing “Deeper in Debt,” a study by the American Association of University Women. “Research indicates that women take on larger student loans than men do and, because of the gender pay gap, it takes them longer to pay it off. Nearly two-thirds of the outstanding student debt in the U.S. is owed by women.”
During the event, Goldrick-Rab will sign copies of her book, “Paying the Price: College Costs, Financial Aid, and the Betrayal of the American Dream,” which discusses the crisis of college affordability and offers possible solutions.