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Community Development Events

Debt in Texas: Understanding the Impact of Student Loan Debt


Sept. 24, Sept. 29 and Oct. 1 | Online
Hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, Asset Funders Network and Educate Texas

This three-part virtual event series explored trends in postsecondary affordability and student loans, as well as solutions to college debt challenges in Texas.

  1. The Past: How We Got Here
    Thursday, Sept. 24 · 10–11:30 a.m.

    A look at the historical inequities in postsecondary education policy, as well as state policy decisions that contributed to the present-day student debt crisis in Texas. View the recording.

    10 a.m.

    Welcome and Opening Remarks


    Alfreda B. Norman, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas

    10:10 a.m.

    Mini Talk: Debt in Texas Overview


    Alfreda B. Norman
    Julie Eklund, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (presentation)

    10:25 a.m.

    Students’ Lived Experiences with Debt


    Simon Marquez, Young Invincibles

    10:30 a.m.

    Panel Session


    Charles Contero-Puls, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board
    Denisa Gandara, Southern Methodist University
    Jenny Achilles, Trellis Foundation
    Moderator: Ashley Williams, Every Texan

    11:20 a.m.

    Student Perspective


    Simon Marquez

    11:25 a.m.

    Closing Remarks


    Karen Murrell, Asset Funders Network

    Recommended reading:

  2. The Present: Where We Are Today
    Tuesday, Sept. 29 · 10–11:30 a.m.

    An interactive discussion about the racial disparities in student loan debt and borrower outcomes. View the recording.

    10 a.m.

    Welcome and Session Overview


    Wende Burton, Communities Foundation of Texas

    10:05 a.m.



    Adam Ordaz, Young Invincibles

    10:15 a.m.

    Mini Talk: Exploring The Unseen in Student Debt


    Aurora Harris, Young Invincibles

    10:20 a.m.

    Student Debt Iceberg Model

    • Patterns of Behavior
    • Structures of the System
    • Mental Models


    Kiran Sidhu, Center for Responsible Lending
    Cat Goughnour, Prosperity Now
    Pedro Lira, Jolt Texas

    11:20 a.m.

    Q&A and Remarks


    Don Baylor, Annie E. Casey Foundation

    11:25 a.m.

    Closing Remarks


    Don Baylor

    Recommended reading:

  3. The Future: Where We Want to Go
    Thursday, Oct. 1 · 9–10:30 a.m.

    An exchange of ideas and strategies gaining traction to address student debt and college affordability. View the recording.

    9 a.m.

    Welcome and Opening Remarks


    Roy C. Lopez, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas

    9:06 a.m.

    Panel 1: Reducing Existing Student Debt


    Raquan Wedderburn, Aspen Institute Financial Security Program
    Katherine Welbeck, Student Borrower Protection Center
    Moderator: Yvette Ruiz, JPMorgan Chase & Co.

    9:45 a.m.

    Panel 2: College Affordability


    Dr. Russell Lowery-Hart, Amarillo College
    Dr. Chris Dowdy, Paul Quinn College
    Moderator: Todd Penner, Dell Foundation

    10:25 a.m.

    Closing Remarks


    Annika Little, Asset Funders Network

    Recommended reading:

The Debt in Texas series will include future sessions on other topics. In addition to the student debt sessions above, we hope you’ll join us at these other events. Stay tuned for registration.

Debt in Texas: The Unintended Consequences of Government Fines and Fees
  • Dec. 2-3, 2020
Debt in Texas: Understanding the Impact of Medical Debt
  • Feb. 18, 23 and 25, 2021

This series is made possible by support from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Communities Foundation of Texas, JPMorgan Chase & Co., the Texas Women’s Foundation and Charles Schwab Bank. Thank you to contributing partners Every Texan, Texas Appleseed, Texas Fair Defense Project and Young Invincibles.


For More Information

Contact Anna Crockett with any questions.