The Youngest Black Woman Ever Elected to Congress Eyes Student Loan Debt Reform

Lauren Underwood won election to Congress this past November in Illinois 14th Congressional District. She had won the Democratic primary in March 2018 with 57 percent of the vote against six opponents. In November, she defeated Republican incumbent Randy Hultgren by just over 10,000 votes in a tight election. When she takes office on January 3, at the age of 32, Underwood will be the youngest Black women to have ever served in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Underwood is a native of Ohio but grew up in Naperville, Illinois. She is a registered nurse and worked at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. While in Washington, Underwood taught advanced practice nursing students as an instructor at Georgetown University School of Nursing and Health Studies.

Underwood  is a graduate of the University of Michigan, where she majored in nursing. She earned a master’s degree at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

Among Underwood’s top priorities when she comes to Washington is to tackle the student loan debt crisis. She stated that “I support increased funding for Pell grants, increased availability of affordable subsidized student loans, and the continuance of the public service loan forgiveness program. Higher education should not be a privilege of a certain class of people.”

Related Articles


  1. Ms. Honorable Lauren Underwood, I think that you are certainly on the right track. Many students especially minorities acquire high student loan debt and then have simultaneously difficult times finding adequate employment to assist them in paying their student loans. I highly recommend a 1. loan work forgiveness and 2. loan Community Service forgiveness which both can be a way of reducing and acquiring loan forgiveness by working it off and not getting it free but a POLICY that facilitates loan reduction and debt free from student loans. thanks Dr. Ralph Steele

Leave a Reply

Get the JBHE Weekly Bulletin

Receive our weekly email newsletter delivered to your inbox

Latest News

Virginia State University Receives Approval to Launch MBA Program

“I am confident this program will equip our diverse population of men and women with the knowledge, skills, and experiences necessary to thrive in today’s ever-evolving world of business," said Emmanual Omojokun, dean of the Virginia State University College of Business.

Three Black Scholars Receive Faculty Appointments

The appointments are Erica Armstrong Dunbar at Emory University in Atlanta, Kimberly Haynie at the University of Arkansas Pine Bluff, and Kevin Vandiver at Virginia Theological Seminary.

Delaware State University Aviation Program Establishes Partnership with Endeavor Air

Through a new memorandum of understanding, students in the aviation program at Delaware State University will have the opportunity to enroll in a pathway program with Endeavor Air, ultimately leading to a priority interview with the airline company upon completion of required flight hours.

American College of Physicians Honors Bruce Ovbiagele for Advancing Diversity in Healthcare

Dr. Ovbiagele's academic career has been dedicated to eliminating local and global stroke disparities, as well as mentoring medical students and researchers from underrepresented groups.

Featured Jobs