Although the increase in student-held debt has received much attention, little is known about debt that adults assume to finance family members’ education expenses. A brief describing a study from the Urban Institute shows that 7% of Americans ages 25 to 55 have taken on debt to finance their child’s or grandchild’s education. While blacks are substantially more likely to obtain debt for their own education, there are no systematic racial differences in debt to finance a family member’s education expenses. 

The brief can be accessed at