BEAUMONT, Texas — Students and administrators at Lamar University continue to weigh the impact of President Joe Biden's student loan decision.
The pause on payments and the debt forgiveness strategy could have far-reaching effects, which Lamar's financial aid director says, is particularly important for students of color.
Studies done by The Education Data Initiative have shown that Black students are more likely to struggle after graduating, largely due to student loan debt.
President Biden's decision will forgive $10,000 in federal student debt for most borrowers and ultimately offer financial relief to millions of Americans.
Recent studies have shown that Black graduates have a harder time paying back their loan debt than others.
At Lamar University, the cost of college is at the top of students' minds during the first week of the semester, especially.
In the financial aid office, students are filling out forms for loans and other assistance.
Lamar's Financial Aid Director Dr. Reginald Brazzle says that close to 60% of borrowers are minorities, mainly because of the economic base they start off with initially.
"Like I have said before borrowing the dollars is not what students really want to do, but because they really want to get through higher Ed they need to do this to complete their schooling," he said.
Studies show that Black college graduates owe $25,000 dollars more in student loans than their White counterparts. Lamar Student Amanya Fells says it holds truth.
"Minority students don't really have generational wealth, I don't think we got the opportunity to build generational wealth and pass it on to our kids and grandchildren. So therefore, we are below the power curve compared to our white counterparts," she said.
Another student says he has professors that are still working to pay off their loans, which he thinks is "ridiculous."
While black students on average have around $53,000 dollars in student debt after pursuing a Bachelors' Degree, Dr. Brazzle says there are financial literacy programs offered by the university to help students make better decisions during and after college.
"We try to talk about it as students, we invite them to seminars and webinars where we talk about repayment," he said.