To Borrow a Phrase: An Investigation of the News Media’s Role in Racialized Student Loan Policy Communication

Awarded Scholars:
Dominique J. Baker, Southern Methodist University
Project Date:
Mar 2022
Award Amount:

Systemic racism creates an environment in which students of color disproportionately struggle with student loans. Media coverage of student loans, including the ways in which race, racism, and student loans intersect, plays a significant role in the public’s and policy actors’ understanding of the challenges student loans cause and potential solutions. Education policy expert Dominique Baker will examine the racial framing of student loans using computational social science techniques applied to fifteen years’ worth of news articles. Focusing on policy communication through the media will help to ensure that the public and policy actors do not rely on decontextualized and race-neutral understandings of student loan debt.


RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences is a peer-reviewed, open-access journal of original empirical research articles by both established and emerging scholars.


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